John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe

John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe (1859-1935) is buried in St Paul's Cathedral but his stall plate as a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath can be seen in the Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey.

He was born in Southampton, a son of John and Lucy (daughter of Dr Keele). The family had included many naval officers and he served in the Royal Navy in Malta, the Mediterranean and China.

He married Florence Cayzer in 1902 and they had six children. In 1907 he was promoted to Rear Admiral and was second in command of the Atlantic fleet. He commanded at the battle of Jutland in 1916 when the British fleet inflicted serious damage on several German battleships. In 1916 he was awarded the Order of Merit and in 1918 he was created Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa and received many orders and decorations.

Later he served at the Admiralty and became First Sea Lord. He caught a chill when attending an Armistice Day service and died of pneumonia on 19th November 1935. His son George became 2nd Earl Jellicoe. His coffin was brought to lie in front of the altar in the Lady chapel at the Abbey to rest privately overnight before his funeral at St Paul's on 25th November. Four sailors stood guard at each corner and the coffin was covered with the Abbey Pall with the Union Flag draped on top.

The family wreath and his plumed hat of the Order of the Bath lay on top. Roses and lilies were placed near the coffin and a floral anchor and large wreath made of artificial poppies made by disabled ex-servicemen. 

His grave is next to 1st Earl Beatty in St Paul's, who served with him at Jutland, and is near the grave of Lord Nelson.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Jellicoe by A.T. Patterson, 1969

He has a bust in Trafalgar Square




Lady Chapel

Memorial Type

Stall Plate

John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe
John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe

© National Portrait Gallery, London [Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]

John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe
John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe Bath plate

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster