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Jutland bell

Jutland bell

  • Height   1245 mm
  • Width   1524 mm
  • Weight   2040 kg
  • Note   C#
Bell inscription

(Arms of Royal Navy)
To the Glory of God and to the Royal Navy, 1914-18.
‘The sea is our Life.’
- Jellicoe.
Given by Proprietors Evening Post.

This bell was given as a memorial to the Royal Navy, and named in particular for the Battle of Jutland, which occurred in May 1916. One of the ships that took part was the battlecruiser HMS New Zealand, donated by New Zealand to the Royal Navy. Few New Zealanders were involved in the battle itself, although Leslie Follett from Marton was killed in the sinking of HMS Queen Mary.

In the years that followed, this bell was sounded on the anniversary of the Battle of Jutland. In 1935 it was sounded to mark the death of Lord Jellicoe, who had been in command of the Grand Fleet at Jutland, was later New Zealand’s Governor-General, and whose quote was used on the inscription on the bell.

The money to fund the bell was given by the proprietors of the Evening Post newspaper, the Blundell family. One of this family, Louis Proctor Blundell, was the patron of the War Memorial Carillon Society and he and his wife, Annie, also personally gifted the largest bell, 'Reo Wairua'.

The quotation engraved on the bell is a favourite phrase of Jellicoe’s – he gave a speech at the New Zealand Club in Wellington in 1921 while he was Governor-General in which he talked about the vital importance of the sea to both New Zealand and the British Empire, and advocated for the need for a strong navy and mercantile marine. The following year, asked by the Navy League to give a message to be produced into a souvenir for Wellington school children, Jellicoe supplied the following: ‘The sea is our life. By the use of it the Empire was formed. By holding it the Empire has been preserved. If we fail to appreciate its value the Empire will perish.’

The bell displays the symbol of the Royal Navy, an anchor wrapped in a rope.