Jellicoe, Sir John Rushworth, 1st Earl. (1859-1935)

Sir John Jellicoe is best known as Commander of the Grand British Fleet during World War I (The Great War). He was born in Southhampton, England and joined the British Navy at the age of 23. In 1900, Jellicoe was sent to Peking (modern day Beijing). Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, appointed him Second-in-Command of the British Grand Fleet in 1911. From there, it was a small step to replace Sir George Callaghan as commander, which Jellicoe accomplished after the outbreak of World War I. He is famous for his role in The Battle of Jutland, the largest naval confrontation of World War I, in which he, with his famous ship HMS Iron Duke (the last coal-burning battleship in the British fleet) attacked the German High Seas Fleet, led by Admiral von Scheer. While the British suffered greater losses than the Germans, they managed to keep the German fleet from leaving The North Sea. In 1916, Beatty replaced Jellicoe as Commander of the British Grand Fleet. Jellicoe became First Sea Lord (naval chief of staff), until he was dismissed by Prime Minister David Lloyd George. Later in his life, Jellicoe was Governor of New Zealand for four years.

While Jellicoe's cautious approach during World War I was criticised (and led to his losing the Commandership) it was necessary for the British fleet to prevent the Germans from leaving the North Sea. In this respect, it was somewhat unfair to have him replaced. Jellicoe's fame after his death increased and now he is one of the most widely recognised personalities of World War I.

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