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Commonwealth War Graves Commission

NO GRAVE BUT THE SEA The Commemoration of Naval Casualties Commonwealth naval forces played a vital role during both world wars. Their objectives were: • • • •

Protection and safe transport of troops to theatres of war Transport of supplies to fighting troops Protection of home coasts To ensure safe passage of merchant vessels and protect trade routes

The Royal Navy During the First World War, the Royal Navy quickly established a blockade in the North Sea, restricting the movement of the German High Seas Fleet and merchant shipping. Although attempts by the British to draw the High Seas Fleet into a decisive engagement ultimately failed, there were actions throughout the world, from Heligoland Bight off Germany’s north coast to Coronel, Chile. The biggest naval battle of the First World War was the Battle of Jutland, 31 May-1 June 1916. Although British losses were greater than those of the Germans, the damage to German shipping was such that the battle, along with growing unrest within the German Navy in 1917 and 1918, effectively ended the threat from the High Seas Fleet. The Royal Naval Division was formed in August 1914 from naval reserve forces to serve on land and supplement the army when warships of the fleet were fully crewed. Those who died at sea are commemorated on naval memorials. Detail of Portsmouth Naval Memorial

Naval casualties  

No grave but the sea

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