Whitfield, Paul

From Battle of Jutland Crew Lists Project
Photo source: Malcolm Goddard

Photo source: Chicago Tribune Pictorial Weekly June 1916
Photo source: The Sphere
17 June 1916

Lt Cdr Whitfield was taken prisoner when his ship was sunk, and wrote from hospital on 8 June 1916 describing the fate of HMS Nomad and her crew.

He was recommended for promotion after leading 'a most gallant attack' on German battle cruisers during the Battle of Jutland. He was captured after his ship, HMS Nomad, was sunk by enemy shellfire on 31 May 1916. In this cheerful letter, written from a German naval hospital on 8 June, Whitfield gives a lively account of the Nomad's last few hours. He concludes by taking issue with his captors' version of the battle: 'They would have me believe that nearly our whole Navy has gone, and they don't like me one bit when I tell them I don't believe them.' Catalogue reference: ADM 137/4808 (8 Jun 1916) Transcript on web site.

The following list of killed supplements what he knew at that date of casualties:

BENOY, William V, Engineer Lieutenant Commander - named
BUSH, Montague J, Chief Petty Officer, 159320 (Po)
CHAMBERLAIN, George W, Able Seaman, J 10120 (Po)
MOWBRAY, David, Able Seaman, 213216 (Po)
READ, Walter J, Able Seaman, 211726 (Po) - named
SHELDON, William J, Petty Officer, 184138 (Dev)
WILES, John, Leading Seaman, J 10448 (Po) - named
WILLIS, George F, Engine Room Artificer 2c, 272377 (Po) - named as wounded, may have died of wounds after he wrote, although recorded as killed on 31 May.

None are shown as either a Stoker or Leading Stoker, who he believed was killed in the first hit. Maybe this was when ERA Willis was wounded/killed.

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/firstworldwar/battles/p_captainsletter.htm?fbclid=IwAR33ozlW8qjOe_s8OgQRZliMKqMXLI_VUQFVHg6u8ZuQyRinuL2C58rH36w

Clearly like several other POWs the first assumption was that he had been killed, as the Chicago Tribune Pictorial Weekly published (second photo).


  1. HMS Nomad Crew List (Photographs)
  2. HMS Nomad Crew List (updated in Real-time)