The grandson of a wireless operator aboard HMS Ambuscade, a destroyer that fought at Jutland in 1916, has published a unique book based on his Grandfather’s diaries of the battle which is to raise money for the Royal Navy’s principal charity.

On the 100th anniversary year of the Battle of Jutland, "Duel in the North Sea - HMS Ambuscade at Jutland” by Pat Avery has been released, documenting the most intensely contested and significant naval engagement of the First World War.

All proceeds from the sale of the book will go directly to The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Author Pat Avery said: "The story of the Battle of Jutland is a dramatic one as well as the largest, and last, of the great battleship battles of the First World War. The fierce exchanges between capital ships during the encounter has been well documented, but the role played by the destroyers of the small ship navy, and the officers and ratings who manned them, is often overlooked."

One of these ships, in particular, has an emotional resonance for Pat, a Commercial Officer at Stagecoach South West in Exeter.

Photo (left to right): Carol Elliot, Fundraising Manager from the RNRMC, with Pat Avery, at HMS Excellent

Jutland connection

Pat's grandfather was the wireless operator in the destroyer ‘HMS Ambuscade’. Pat has researched his ancestor’s personal diaries of the Jutland battle to be included in this book titled “Duel in the North Sea - HMS Ambuscade at Jutland”.

On the 31 May 2016, the centenary date, the government are holding special Battle of Jutland Centenary commemorations to be held on Orkney. As a direct descendant, Pat has been invited to this event which will have special significance for him and his family.

Pat said: "The point is that we must never forget. This momentous occasion will be an opportunity to reflect not only the battle itself but more importantly the men involved, whose lives were deeply affected by war. They are not just statistics in history books, but individuals who had their own fears, pain and ambitions.

"If we can, through personal accounts such as memoirs and diaries, relate to individual experiences, we will see that those involved were no different to us. The family association with the Royal Navy continues today with my son, who is a serving Petty Officer. He suggested that the proceeds of the sale of this book should benefit The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.”

Pat added: “This book would never have reached completion without the encouragement and support of my wife Debbie. It’s been a real team effort.”

Then and now: Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff

Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, said: “Duel in the North Sea is a personal contribution from a naval family, but it also reflects our national story. Britain was dependent on the sea for security and prosperity in 1916, just as we are today. The Battle of Jutland ensured the Royal Navy retained its supremacy. Famous for being a clash between battleships, this book rightly remembers the men who served in the numerous smaller, but no less gallant, ships of the Grand Fleet and the vital role such ships played in the Battle.”

Lauren Wileman, Head of Community Fundraising at The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, said: " The book gives an excellent and timely insight into how the battle played out from the eyes of someone so close to it and we hope it will be a success all-round. We are very grateful to be receiving 100 per cent of the profits from the sale of copies of Duel in the North Sea: HMS Ambuscade. It is an extremely generous gesture from Pat in support of the Charity.

"Donations generated from the sale of the book will go toward helping our Naval veterans of all ages, as well as those serving today and their families."

Bob Dennison, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West, commented: "Pat's book is a fantastic achievement - I know how much hard work and dedication he has put in researching his family's history and linking it to one of the First World War's most important battles. I hope the finished result raises a lot of money for The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity."

Purchase Duel in the North Sea - HMS Ambuscade at Jutland

The book, available in paperback priced £10 or as a downloadable format version for Kindle and iPad, etc. at £5, is now available to coincide with this historic event. As well as informative text the book features original plans of the ship, photographs, and maps.

To order a copy please visit the publisher’s website at www.seafunnel.co.uk