Naval widows, war work and the port town civic burden: State, civic, philanthropic and self-help in the aftermath of the battle of Jutland (1916)

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The naval town of Portsmouth bore a large portion of the brunt of the casualties lost at the Battle of Jutland (1916). The article will explore the precedent of naval philanthropy in Portsmouth and its historical links with naval disasters affecting the town which will lead to an analysis of how the town viewed their civic duty and mobilised local support for war widows immediately after the Battle of Jutland. It will then turn to assess the role of the local War Pensions Statutory Committee and its intersections with charitable organisations such as the Royal Patriotic Fund and Lady Beatty’s Jutland Fund. The analysis will lastly explore some of the stories of the nearly 100-strong Jutland war widows who worked in Portsmouth Royal Dockyard during the war. It will highlight the agency of civic leaders in determining aspects of World War One relief and how war widows were able to navigate and survive their personal tragedies in a naval town.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCoastal Studies and Society
Early online date9 Mar 2024
Publication statusEarly online - 9 Mar 2024


  • war widow
  • naval
  • dockyard
  • First World War
  • Portsmouth Dockyard

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