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John Rushworth Jellicoe

1859-1935

Admiral Sir John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, was a British Admiral and the Second Governor-General of New Zealand. He is most famous or his role as Admiral of the Fleet during the Battle of Jutland in 1916.

Jellicoe joined the Royal Navy in 1872 on HMS BRITANNIA. He proved a talented cadet and over the next few years, he climbed the ranks of sub-lieutenant, lieutenant and commander before rising to the rank of captain in 1897 and vice-admiral in 1910.

After World War I broke out in July 1914, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill promoted Jellicoe to Admiral. Jellicoe commanded the Grand Fleet, which consisted of British, Australian and Canadian forces, in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916. It was the largest naval battle of the war and in the end, despite the German fleet being outnumbered, the result was inconclusive. Though Jellicoe was criticised for his leadership techniques, after the battle he was appointed to First Sea Lord, the head of the Royal Navy. This was short lived, however, when in December 1917, he was dismissed.

Jellicoe later served as the Governor-General of New Zealand from 1920 to 1924. When he returned to England he was made an earl. He died in 1935.