Regiment: Royal Naval Reserve, HMS Majestic
Jethro (on the left) in Fore Street, Beer on 3 August 1914 shortly before the Royal Naval Reservists from the village marched away
Jethro Westlake was born in Beer on 17 November 1875, the son of William Westlake, a fisherman, and his wife Thirza, of 4 Sea View, Beer.
Jethro worked a fishing boat from Beer called Doris (E54), and joined the Royal Naval Reserve on 19 April 1899. His RNR record states that he was 5ft 8 ½ins tall, with grey eyes and a fair complexion. He was mobilised for war service on 3 August 1914, and joined HMS Majestic, a pre-dreadnought battleship launched in 1895, and which was part of the 7th Battle Squadron.
Majestic covered the passage across the Channel of the British Expeditionary Force in September 1914, and was then detached from the 7th Battle Squadron from 3 to 14 October to escort the first troop convoy from Canada. In December 1914 she became part of the Dover Patrol, whose job was to protect ships crossing the Channel carrying troops and supplies to the BEF in France.
Jethro, centre, in uniform, with other Beer men
Majestic sank on 27 May 1915 after being torpedoed twice while at anchor off the Gallipoli peninsula.
Jethro appears to have suffered some sort of accident or wound affecting his eyes at around this time, as on 19 July 1915 he was invalided out of the RNR with ‘defective vision’. It is not clear from his record whether this occurred at the time of the sinking.
Jethro died in 1952.
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