The Germans claimed victory at the time, but fled the field of battle and never seriously threatened British naval superiority in the North Sea for the rest of the war.

The 100th anniversary of the battle will be the Royal Navy’s key Great War centenary commemoration, On Orkney, a national service of remembrance will be held in the impressive setting of St Magnus’ Cathedral, before proceedings move to Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery overlooking Scapa Flow – the Royal Navy’s principal wartime base in both global conflicts – for a simpler ceremony. 

Around one quarter of attendees at both events will be relatives of men who fought at Jutland – the Department for Culture Media and Sport, which is in charge of national commemorations marking 100 years since the 1914-18 conflagration, will announce details before the year’s end. 

Royal Navy divers intend to visit the wreck of battle-cruiser HMS Invincible, whose loss provided the most terrible and iconic image of Jutland, to place a White Ensign in memory of the 1,020 officers and men killed when she blew up. 

There are also plans for events in Rosyth, where the battle-cruiser force was based in 1916, and paving stones remembering the four Victoria Cross winners in the battle will be dedicated in the men’s respective home towns. “World War 1 remains characterised by imagery of the trenches of the Western Front. 

Yet the sea was Britain’s lifeline and the supremacy of the Royal Navy was crucial to national survival,” said First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas. “It is right, a century after Jutland – the largest and last clash between dreadnoughts – that we join together to remember those lost from both sides.”

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