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The Forth at War

20th May - 28th August 2016

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The Forth at War
The Forth at War

An exhibition combining the paintings of Jim Stormonth with material from the museum’s collections to explore the role of the Royal Navy and the importance of the Firth of Forth during World War I. The exhibition coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland on 31st May – 1st June, the only major naval battle of the conflict.

20th May - 28th August 2016

contact for more information and see our events pages for associated events and activities.

HMS Valiant & HMS Westminster

The Firth of Forth

Throughout the four years of World War I, naval vessels of all sorts, ranging from small patrol ships to battleships, were and everyday sight in the Firth of Forth.

The largest amount of shipping seen in the estuary took place between the 21st and 27th of November 1918, when the German High Seas Fleet surrendered both to units of the British Grand Fleet and to other Allied units. The German High Seas Fleet was subsequently escorted toe Scapa Flow, Orkney, between the 25th and 27th of November.

The paintings shown here depict the various types of warships, auxiliary vessels and merchant ships that plied the Forth during World War I.

From Grangemouth eastwards to the May Island, the Forth was to become a very busy and important area where all types of vessels from Royal Naval battleships to small fishing boats could be seen as an important ongoing part of shipping traffic engaged in coastal and overseas trade.

On August 4th 1914, however, a major change affected the whole of this area when it fell under the command of the Royal Navy. While the presence of merchant and fishing boats continued, it now became largely the preserve of the naval vessels displayed in this exhibition.

HMS Winchelsea & HMS Caledon

The Artist

Jim Stormonth DA, Graphic Designer

Trained at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, 1964 – 69. Retired teacher of art.

He has painted for many years and has work in private collections in various parts of the UK and in a number of countries worldwide.

He specialises in maritime and transport subjects.

The Battle of Jutland

The largest naval battle of the War was fought off the coast of Denmark on 31st May and 1st June 1916. 51 ships left the Firth of Forth on the night of 30th May to join the Grand Fleet of 100 ships sailing from Invergordon and Scapa Flow. They were met by the German High Fleet and, in the resulting battle, over 9000 lives were lost, of which 6000 were British.

The outcome of the battle was inconclusive with each side claiming victory. The British lost more ships and men, however, the German Navy was left unable to mount another successful attack. After the battle the British Navy remained a powerful fighting force whereas the German High Seas fleet was not.

The museum collection contains material taken from HMS Iron Duke, Admiral Jellicoe’s flagship and attests to the fascination that people felt for this important battle and the ships that saw action.


The Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust Ltd
St Ayles, Harbourhead, Anstruther, Fife KY10 3AB
Tel (within UK): 01333 310628
Tel (from outside UK): +44 1333 310628
Charity Number: SC 006185 VAT Reg Number: 270 2790 64
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