James Laurence Founds 31-May-16

First Name: James Laurence
Last Name:Founds
Rank: Able Seaman
Regiment: Royal Navy
Military Number:J/7618
Place of Birth:Galway
Place of Death:Jutland
Date of Death:31-May-16
Additional Information:

Killed in Action: (Jutland) 31 May 1916. Age 25.

Supplementary Notes: Son of J. Founds (Coastguardsman) of Co. Galway.

Remembered: Portsmouth Naval Memorial -Hampshire -United Kingdom (12).

The battlecruiser HMS INDEFATIGABLE (Captain Charles Sowerby) was locked in a gunnery duel with the German battlecruiser VON DER TANN when a German salvo was observed to strike HMS INDEFATIGABLE midships. HMS INDEFATIGABLE lurched out of line to starboard only to be stuck squarely by a second salvo. It appears that HMS INDEFATIGABLE received a shell in her X turret which ignited cordite charges, the resultant flash shooting down to the aft magazines. It is equally plausible that a shell may have penetrated the magazine directly. The ship was wreathed in smoke but when it cleared, HMS INDEFATIGABLE was sinking by the stern and listing over to port. She sank in seconds taking 1,017 of her crew with her. What follows is an eye witness account:

” There was a terrific explosion. The magazines went up. I saw the guns go up in thre air like matchsticks. 12″ guns they were, bodies and everything. She was beginning to settle down. Within half a minute the ship turned right over and she was gone. I was 180´ up in the tops otherwise I would have gone with her. I hit the water unconscious, turning over. At last I came to the surface and I saw this other lad, Jimmy Green. We got a piece of wood between us, he was at one end and I was at the other. A couple of minutes later some shells came over and took off Jimmy´s head and I was alone in the water”


Three survivors AB Elliott, L/Sig Falmer, Sig Bowyer were picked up by the German torpedoboat S-16 . Commander Willoughby survived the explosion only to die of wounds and exposure in the water.

The wreck – a war grave -was untouched until 1958 when it was commercially salvaged by German and Danish divers using industrial explosives. As a result the ship is now an unintelligible scrap heap spread over a large area.

INDEFATIGABLE Hms, British, INDEFATIGABLE class Battle Cruiser. Lost in the battle of Jutland.
British battlecruiser, INDEFATIGABLE, sunk at 16.03 after a magazine explosion. More than 1,000 sailors on the INDEFATIGABLE were killed as a result of the blast.


The Battle of Jutland (Skagerrakschlacht) was the largest naval battle of World War I, fought between 31st May and 1st June 1916, in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark. The Germans’ plan was to use five modern battlecruisers to lure the British through a submarine picket line and into the path of the main German fleet.

The plan didn’t succeed, but the battle is considered to be won by the Germans, giving the Royal Navy a heavy blow.

FOUNDS, JAMES LAURANCE, Able Seaman, (no. J/7618), Royal Navy, Son of J. Founds (Coastguardsman), of Co. Galway, Memorial: Plymouth Naval Memorial 25 31/05/1916



Royal Navy

royal navy

HMS Indefatigable Royal navy

HMS Indefatigable Royal Navy

HMS Indefatigable royal navy

HMS indefatigable in colour

Portsmouth Naval Memorial.(6)

Portsmouth Naval Memorial. (6)