Able Seaman G.L. Suffill

FIRST NAMES: George Edward

UNIT: H.M.S. Queen Mary


STATUS: Killed in Action

DATE OF DEATH: 31st May 1916

CEMETERY OR MEMORIAL: The Portsmouth Naval Memorial

AGE: 21

Able Seaman Suffill was the son of John Robert and F.H. Suffill and he lived at No.5 New Row, Northallerton. He was a member of the Northallerton branch of the British Red Cross.

His initials appear to be incorrectly inscribed on the memorial as 'G.L.' as his full name was George Edward Suffill.

He had served in the Navy for six years when he was killed at the Battle of Jutland, aged 21, when the ship on which he was serving, H.M.S. Queen Mary, was hit on No. 3 turret by gunfire from the German ships 'Derfflinger' and 'Seydlitz'. She blew up with a huge explosion which was probably caused by a cordite fire reaching her magazine. She sank with the loss of 1,276 men and only 7 of her crew survived. The incident prompted Admiral Beatty`s famous remark "There`s something wrong with our bloody ships today".

The following is an eye witness account from someone who was serving aboard H.M.S. TIGER, which was sailing immediately astern of the QUEEN MARY, when she was hit.

"One salvo straddled her, three shells out of four hit but there was a red glow as if the armour was keeping the shells out. Then two more shells hit her. There was a red glow and then the ship seemed to open out like a puff-ball. There was another red glow and the whole ship collapsed inward; the funnels and the masts fell into the middle and the hull was blown outwards. The roofs of the gun-turrets were blown 100 feet high then everything was smoke and a bit of the stern was the only thing left above water. TIGER put her helm hard-a-starboard and we just cleared the remains of the stern by a few feet".

H.M.S. Queen Mary The Queen Mary explodes