World War I – Naval Battles


There were numerous naval battles in the First World War – from engagements between minor warships to the large fleet engagement at Jutland.  This section lists some of the significant ones, but will cover any other where casualties with the name GRAY or GREY occurred.

CORONEL 1 November 1914

The Battle of Coronel was a First World War Imperial German Naval victory over the Royal Navy on 1 November 1914, off the coast of central Chile near the city of Coronel. The East Asia Squadron (Ostasiengeschwader or Kreuzergeschwader) of the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) led by Vice-Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee met and defeated a British squadron commanded by Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock.

Casualties to be investigated

FALKLANDS 8 December 1914

The Battle of the Falkland Islands was a First World War naval action between the British Royal Navy and Imperial German Navy on 8 December 1914 in the South Atlantic. The British, after their defeat at the Battle of Coronel on 1 November, sent a large force to track down and destroy the German cruiser squadron. The battle is commemorated every year on 8 December in the Falkland Islands as a public holiday.

Casualties to be investigated

DARDANELLES 19 February 1915–18 March 1915

The naval operations in the Dardanelles campaign (17 February 1915 – 9 January 1916) took place against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Ships of the Royal Navy, French Marine nationale, Imperial Russian Navy (Российский императорский флот) and the Royal Australian Navy, attempted to force the defences of the Dardanelles Straits, a narrow, 41 mi (66 km) long waterway connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Sea of Marmara and further north to the Black Sea.

The Dardanelles campaign began as a naval operation but the success of the Ottoman defence led the Allies to initiate the Gallipoli campaign, an attempt to occupy the Gallipoli peninsula with land forces supported by the navies, to open the sea route to Constantinople. The Allies also tried to pass submarines through the Dardanelles to attack Ottoman shipping in the Sea of Marmara.

Casualties to be investigated

JUTLAND – 31 May – 1 June 1916

The Battle of Jutland (German: Skagerrakschlacht, the Battle of Skagerrak) was a naval battle fought between Britain’s Royal Navy Grand Fleet, under Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, and the Imperial German Navy’s High Seas Fleet, under Vice-Admiral Reinhard Scheer, during the First World War. ‎31 May – 1 June 1916.


Rank / Rate


GRAY, John


HMS Indefatigable<, 2nd Battle Cruiser Squadron

GRAY, Alfred H E,

Officer’s Cook 1c, L 3201 (Po)

HMS Tipparary, 4th Destroyer Flotilla

GRAY, John

Stoker 1c (RFR B 6852), SS 108739 (Po)

HMS Broke, 4th Destroyer Flotilla