Town hon­ours men lost in naval bat­tle


BRAVE young men who lost their lives dur­ing a dev­as­tat­ing naval bat­tle were com­mem­o­rated dur­ing a ser­vice of remembrance.

This year marks a cen­tury since The Bat­tle of Jut­land - the only ma­jor naval bat­tle of World War One - which claimed the lives of three young men from Mac­cles­field.

The bat­tle in­volved 250 ships and around 100,000 men and took place in the North Sea, off the Dan­ish coast, on May 31 1916.

Bri­tain lost 14 ships and more than 6,000 men but were ready for ac­tion again the next day. The Ger­mans lost 11 ships and more than 2,500 men and never again se­ri­ously chal­lenged British con­trol of the North Sea.

Mac­cles­field Royal British Le­gion com­mem­o­rated the an­niver­sary of the Bat­tle of Jut­land with a cer­e­mony at the War Me­mo­rial, Park Green, yes­ter­day.

Bolling­ton Town Hall is also fly­ing the White En­sign - the naval flag flown by war­ships - as part of the com­mem­o­ra­tions.

Peter Lake, pa­rade mar­shall for the Mac­cles­field Royal British Le­gion, said: “It was one of the big­gest Naval bat­tles in British his­tory, we thought itw ould be quite easy be­cause of the British Navy dwarfed the Ger­mans but they sank quite a lot of our ships. There was an enor­mous loss of life so it’s im­por­tant to mark it, es­pe­cially dur­ing the cen­te­nary. If not these things get for­got­ten.”

Coun Al­lan Wil­liams, who is a for­mer Mem­ber of the Royal Navy and cur­r­netly chair of Mac­cles­field British Le­gion, de­scribed the bat­tle as when Ger­many ‘started los­ing the war’.

Coun­cil­lor Wil­liams, who is Mayor of Bolling­ton, said: “The Ger­mans’s ran away from the navy so tech­ni­cally we won it but we suf­fered in­cred­i­ble losses.

“We lost 6,000 and Ger­many lost 2,000.

“Jut­land turned the war around from that point, that when Ger­many moved to sub­ma­rine war- fare and the Amer­i­cans got in­volved.

“It was a very sig­nif­i­cant bat­tle. It’s when Ger­many started los­ing the war.”

Among the men who lost their lives dur­ing the bat­tle was Theodore Proc­ter, a 21-year-old Stoker 1st Class.

Theodore was the son of Ellen, a silk picker, and went to Cromp­ton Road Day School and at­tended the Spir­i­tu­al­ist Free Church Sun­day School.

He worked for at Lower Heyes Mill and was work­ing as a rail­way en­gine cleaner when he joined the Navy in 1914.

Theodore was serv­ing aboard HMS War­rior when it was at­tacked by six Ger­man war ships. It was hit at least twenty times by shells which caused fires and heavy flood­ing. HMS En­ga­dine man­aged to res­cue 743 sur­vivors be­fore the War­rior sank.

Theodore has no known grave but is com­mem­o­rated on the Ply­mouth Naval Me­mo­rial, Park Green war me­mo­rial, at Mac­cles­field Town Hall and the Spir­i­tu­al­ists Church.

Two other Mac­cles­field men who died dur­ing the bat­tle were J W I Jones and Leonard James King.

Jones had pre­vi­ously served on the HMS King Al­fred be­fore he was lost at sea.

Jones has no known grave but is com­mem­o­rated on the Mac­cles­field In­dus­trial School war me­mo­rial.

Lit­tle is known about Leonard King, other than he was born in 1995 and served as car­pen­ters crew on HMS Ben­bow, which sur­vived the bat­tle, while King did not.

In­for­ma­tion was sup­plied by Mac­cles­field Re­flects, the Mac­cles­field Great War Com­mem­o­ra­tion group ( www. ma c c l e s f i e l -

●● The Wein­berg Fam­ily are among the Jewish fam­i­lies to fea­ture in the ex­hi­bi­tion

●● Theodore Proc­ter, from Mac­cles­field, died dur­ing the bat­tle

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