A Royal Navy descendent of a Battle of Jutland hero has helped launch a commemorative £5.00 coin issued by the Royal Mint to mark the 100th anniversary of the battle.
September 21st is Jack Cornwell Day, in honor of the 16-year-old who died fighting for his country in the Battle of Jutland.
Jack, who was from Essex and served aboard HMS Chester, was one of the youngest people to join the Royal Navy. He died shortly after battle, and was posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross medal for honorable conduct.
His story captured the hearts of people across the UK, who demanded that, after initially being given a common burial, he be exhumed and reburied with full naval honours. A public reburial was held in Manor Park Cemetery in London.
The commemorative coin depicts Jack at his post in a portrait-style design, and the edge lettering reads: “mother, don’t watch for postie” — a quotation from The Ballad of Jack Cornwell by Charles Causley.
The coin, struck in sterling silver, was unveiled at the Imperial War Museum at a ceremony attended by Cornwell’s great great nephew, Able Seaman Alex Saridis, who currently serves in HMS Iron Duke.
Saridis, aged 23, said: “It is a great honor that Uncle Jack has been recognised in this way. I am glad to see his sacrifice and courage is remembered all these years on.”
The museum currently has the gun from HMS Chester on display, as well as Cornwell’s Victoria Cross.
The Royal Mint have been making official military campaign medals since they were commissioned to make awards for soldiers who fought in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The Jack Cornwell coin is one of a series of six being issued by the Royal Mint in collaboration with the Imperial War Museum to mark the centenary of World War I.