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Jellicoe Tours the Empire

John Jellicoe was appointed commander of the British Grand Fleet the day war broke out with Germany in 1914. This clip shows him embarking on a tour of Dominion countries including India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Year:21 February 1919

LocationPortsmouth, England

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Jellicoe Tours the Empire

John Jellicoe was appointed commander of the British Grand Fleet the day war broke out with Germany in 1914. This clip shows him embarking on a tour of Dominion countries including India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.


Year: 21 February 1919

Length: 00:56

Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Catalogue Reference: NFSA title:1553950


People: John Jellicoe (Admiral of the Fleet)

Location: Portsmouth, England

Tags: British Fleet, tour, post war, John Jellicoe, Portsmouth, HMS New Zealand, Royal Australian Navy

Subject: British Fleet, tour, post war


Arriving in Australia on 15 May and staying until 16 August 1919, Jellicoe toured navy establishments, evaluated training and discussed defence policy. His observations resulted in a four-volume report which envisaged the Royal Australian Navy acting under Royal Navy command and the creation of a fleet based in Singapore to defend the Empire.

While many of his recommendations were not acted on because of significant financial cost, the tour demonstrated the existing close ties within the Empire and the reliance on Great Britain’s traditional strength as a naval power to defend the region’s waters.

The opening intertitle calls Jellicoe the ‘hero of Jutland’, referring to a battle in May 1916 in the North Sea off the coast of Denmark’s Jutland Peninsula. It was the largest naval battle of the First World War but it ended indecisively, without a clear victory for either side.

Eighteen months after this footage was taken, Jellicoe was appointed Governor-General of New Zealand in September 1920.