Reg Wilkinson, 79, served with the Royal Military Police as part of his National Service from 1955 to 1957 and left as a Lance Corporal.
Service runs in the family with his father also in the Army during the Second World War and his grandfather, George Wilkinson, served in the Royal Navy – most notably during the Battle of Jutland in 1916.
George was a stoker and a ship’s diver during the famous battle. He was one of the lucky ones who survived and had a ‘rum tub’ made out of the teak deck splinters of HMS Iron Duke – Admiral Jellicoe’s flagship of the battle fleet. It had been damaged during the conflict.
That rum tub now takes pride of place in the sitting room of Reg’s Devon home.
100 years after the battle, Reg is attending a commemorative dinner on Wednesday 1 June at the Volunteer Inn, Yealmpton followed by a minutes silence in memory of the 6000 British sailors who perished. The Rum bos’n (Reg, in full sailor rig) assisted by the Rum bos’n mate (Leslie Collings BEM) will then issue a tot of rum from the rum tub to the guests. The rum has been kindly donated by Morrisons and proceeds of the sale of the rum will go the Legion.
You can also commemorate an individual who died during the battle by leaving a special message on our Every Man Remembered website - www.everymanremembered.org.uk. Help us to commemorate every man and woman who gave their lives during the First World War.