The British Grand Fleet engaged the German High Seas Fleet in the North Sea on 31 May 1916 . The only surviving ship of the 1st Cruiser Squadron was the HMS Duke of Edinburgh. The HMS Black Prince, HMS Warrior & HMS Defense were all sunk during the action.
William Penney joined the Royal Navy at Davenport as a Boy 2nd Class 04 October 1898.
Penney engaged with the Navy onboard the HMS Cossack as an Ordinary Seaman on 01 June 1901. Seaman Penney served on the Cossack until 06 August 1903, departing as an Able Body Seaman. During this sea duty, the HMS Cossack participated in the Somali campaign against The Mad Mullah, Mohammed Abdullah Hassan and his Dervish army. The HMS Cossack interdicted arms destined to the dervishes. The HMS Cossack was an Archer Class Torpedo Cruiser.
Prior to the outbreak of WWI, AB Penney reported onboard the HMS Duke of Edinburgh on 26 February 1914.
Penney became a Leading Seaman on 10 June 1915 and received his long service medal while serving on the Duke of Edinburgh. The HMS Duke of Edinburgh had an impressive service record during Great War which Penney served on throughout.
Leading Seaman William Penney retired on 9 June 1923 having spent 25 years with His Majesty's Navy.
The HMS Duke of Edinburgh's first significant event was to be part the chase for the Goeben and Breslau. HMS Duke of Edinburgh was part of Admiral Troubridge’s squadron which also comprised of the armoured cruisers the HMS Defence, HMS Black Prince, & HMS Warrior.
"Admiral Troubridge gave chase out of the Aegean Sea, but his Flag Captain, Fawcet Wray, not keen to engage asked if he was going to fight and adding it would be suicide. Fawcet declared admiralty orders did not give permission to attack. Troubridge called off the chase in tears. Captain Wray commended his action as “The bravest thing you have ever done in your life.”
After the "chase", the HMS Duke of Edinburgh along with the HMS Black Prince captured a German merchant ship "Altair" in the Red Sea. The Edinburgh deployed to the Persian Gulf in November of 1914. Prior to entering the Gulf, the HMS Duke of Edinburgh assisted with military operations and bombardment against the Turks in the vicinity of Aden. For this action, The Edinburgh is mentioned in the Commander-in-Chief India's dispatches, London Gazette, 4 July 1916.
The HMS Duke of Edinburgh became part of the Admiral Jellico's "Battle Fleet". Along with the HMS Black Prince, HMS Warrior, and HMS Defense, these four cruisers comprised the 1st Cruiser Squadron under the Command of Admiral Arbuthnot
German High Sea Fleet going to Sea.
HMS Duke of Edinburgh
201684 Leading Seaman William Henry Penney HMS Duke of Edinburgh
- African General Service Medal (Edw VII) "Somaliland 1902-04"