• Full title JELLICOE PAPERS. Vol. XLVII. Personal and official letters received by Jellicoe before and during the First World War; 1900-1916. Memorandum from John Rushworth Jellicoe to The Grand Fleet on leaving the post of Commander-in-Chief to become First Sea Lord
  • Created 28 November 1916
  • Formats Report
  • Creator John Rushworth Jellicoe
  • Held by British Library
  • Copyright © Crown Copyright and provided under an Open Government Licence.
  • Usage Terms Open Government licence
  • Shelfmark Add MS 49035


This is a memorandum issued by Jellicoe when he left the post of Commander-in-Chief of The Grand Fleet on 28 November 1916 to become First Sea Lord (professional head of the Royal Navy). It is addressed to all naval personnel who served under him and is written from his flagship HMS Iron Duke, the ship from which he had commanded operations during The Battle of Jutland six months earlier. The last line ‘may your arduous work be crowned with a glorious victory…’ is interesting because it suggests that neither Jellicoe nor his men regarded Jutland, the only major battle in which they had engaged, as a victory. It also hints at the frustration felt by many in the navy that their contribution to the war was of an on-going and defensive nature, easily overlooked by the press and the general public and lacking the opportunity for a resounding triumph in battle.

Jellicoe Papers

John Rushworth Jellicoe was a navy officer who commanded The Grand Fleet during World War One. He led Allied warships against the German High Seas Fleet and was involved in high-level decision-making about naval operations. The Jellicoe Papers comprise correspondence, memoranda, reports, charts and other documents either created or used by Jellicoe during his service in the Royal Navy.