London

Service marks centenary of London's first WW1 memorial

The unveiling of the Memorial Cross at St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate Image copyright St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate
Image caption The memorial cross was dedicated on 4 August 1916

The centenary of the unveiling of London's first World War One memorial will be marked with a special commemoration service later.

The Memorial Cross, at the church of St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate, was dedicated by the Lord Mayor and the Bishop of Stepney on 4 August 1916.

It was erected to remember those who lost their lives at the Battle of Jutland, on 31 May to 1 June 1916.

The centenary will also be marked with a rededication.

The memorial cross marks the loss of Secretary of War, Lord Kitchener, and the men of HMS Hampshire, off Orkney, a few days after the Battle of Jutland, as well as Jack Cornwell, whose funeral with full naval honours in late July 1916 drew public attention.

Mr Cornwell was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry during the battle.

Stationed as a sight-setter on HMS Chester, the 16-year-old remained at his post awaiting further orders until the end of the action, despite wounds from which he died three days later.

The cross is also a memorial to the Honourable Artillery Company.

On 5 June 1916, Lord Kitchener set out in HMS Hampshire for Russia, but the ship struck a mine during a gale and sank west of the Orkney Islands.

Lord Kitchener, his staff, and 643 of the crew of 655 drowned or died of exposure. His body was never found.

The Rt Revd Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney, will lead the service.

The Honourable Artillery Company, the City, civic and commercial organisations associated with Lord Kitchener and Jack Cornwell, will all be represented.

Historic England has recently listed the cross, among other memorials of the Battle of Jutland, as part of the commemorations of its centenary.

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