WW1 Centenary Commemorations at Cowes Week
Today marks 100 years since the first shot was fired by the Royal Navy in 1914, at the beginning of the First World War. To mark the milestone event, Royal Navy patrol vessel HMS Mersey will sail past the Royal Yacht Squadron during Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.
On 5th August 1914, HMC Lance fired the first shot at sea of WWI, whilst in the North Sea. That exact gun is now exhibited National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. This morning, a single cannon was fired from the Royal Yacht Squadron at 10.00, which was followed by a minute silence in memory of all those that served in the war.
With its clubhouse at Cowes Castle, the Royal Yacht Squadron is one of the most esteemed yacht clubs in the world. All yachts with membership to the club are given the RYS suffix to their name, and fly the White Ensign of the Royal Navy. The squadron was founded in 1815 by 42 men who would discuss yachting over dinner at meetings in London and in Cowes twice a year.
The Royal Yacht Squadron were instrumental in fighting at sea during the First World War. 38 member yachts were offered to the cause after war was declared. While 32 survived the war, four were lost to mines, one in a collision, and one in pursuit of a submarine in treacherous weather. The Royal Yacht Squadron clubhouse at Cowes Castle was also converted into a place for naval officers to recover from injuries.
Describing the commemorative events, Director General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Professor Dominic Tweddle said:
“Cowes Week is acknowledged the world over as one of the most prestigious sailing events and we are touched that the organisers and the Royal Navy join with us in marking this sombre and thought-provoking centenary in a time-honoured fashion.”
For all the latest news and discussion, follow us on Facebook
Image Credits: Cowes.co.uk
Article by Jack Bartrop