Next week’s commemoration of the Battle of Jutland in Orkney has been the subject of a debate in the House of Commons in which Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, contributed.
The Prime Minister, Duke and Edinburgh and others will attend a memorial service at St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall on 31 May to mark the centenary of the battle. Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Carmichael said:
“Next week Orkney will be at the heart of the events to commemorate this remarkable episode in our nation’s history, just as we were at the heart of events 100 years ago, when Jellicoe led the fleet from Scapa Flow. I am struck by the range of interventions we have had from Members from right across the country. It strikes me that what we will be commemorating is not just a memorable naval battle, but an enterprise involving communities right across the length and breadth of this country. That is the spirit in which it should be remembered.”
Mr Carmichael has also tabled a parliamentary motion marking the commemorations. It reads:
This house commemorates the centenary of the Battle of Jutland which took place from 31 May – 1 June 1916; recognises that more than 8,500 people died in the largest naval battle in the First World War between the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet off the coast of Denmark’s Jutland Peninsula; further recognises that the battle involved over 250 ships, with Britain losing 14 and Germany 11 in the space of two days; acknowledges that many of the British ships involved in the battle were stationed at Scapa Flow in Orkney; welcomes the national commemorations taking place in St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall on 31 May; notes the Poppies: Weeping Window installation at the Cathedral which was originally displayed at the Tower of London; further notes that Orkney has been the first place in Scotland to display the poppies; and congratulates all those who have been involved in organising the commemorations in Orkney.