John Stuart Kirkland

RankSub Lieutenant
Medals1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
RegimentRoyal Navy, HMS Turbulent
Military Service

Kirkland started at the Royal Naval College, Osborne on 15th January 1909 at the age of 12 and spent two years there. He then moved to the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth to complete his education before passing out as a midshipman on 15th September 1913. He was given a Very Good report on passing out and it was noted that his German was promising.

Kirkland was posted to HMS Bellerophon, a battleship in the 1st Battle Squadron of the Home Fleet to undergo sea training. In December of that year the Squadron visited several Mediterranean ports including Gibraltar, Barcelona, Toulon and Salamis. In April 1914 Bellerophon was transferred to the 4th Battle Squadron and proceeded to Scapa Flow three weeks after war was declared. The following month Kirkland was promoted to Acting Sub Lieutenant (15th September) and commenced E R duty on 20th September. However he did not remain much longer on Bellerophon being transferred to HMS Attentive on 30th November 1915

Attentive was a light cruiser which led the 6th Destroyer Flotilla, based at Dover and Kirkland was intended to serve in HMS Racehorse a torpedo boat destroyer in that flotilla. The 6th Flotilla was engaged in anti-submarine and counter-mining patrols off the Belgian coast. Kirkland only served on Racehorse for 4 months (until 23rd March 1916) by which time he had already been taken to Chatham Hospital with jaundice on the 15th March, the same day his promotion to Sub Lieutenant was confirmed. He spent two weeks in hospital but was not finally declared fit until 5th May when he was posted to HMS Dido a cruiser which had been converted to act as a depot ship for the destroyer flotillas at Harwich. Kirkland was posted from her to HMS Turbulent of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla. Sometime in May Turbulent was sent to Rosyth, the battle cruisers’ base and was attached to the 13th Destroyer Flotilla. As a result when Beatty sailed to rendezvous with the Grand Fleet on 30th May Turbulent was one of the screening destroyers.


26th March 1896, Glasgow

Death1st June 1916
Circumstances of Death

Killed in action

HMS Turbulent

HMS Turbulent, 1916

Turbulent, 1916

Turbulent took part in the Battle of Jutland as part of the 13th Destroyer Flotilla led by HMS Champion.  In the confused night actions of 31st May/1st June Turbulent and several of her sister ships became separated from Champion and tagged onto the end of the line of destroyers being led by HMS Lydiard.  This group of destroyers unknowingly crossed in front of the leading ships of the High Seas Fleet which was heading back to port at high speed. Only the last four destroyers in the line spotted the enemy ships. Three passed safely in front of them but were not in a position to attack but Turbulent, the last in the line, was rammed by the leading German ship, SMS Westfalen, and sank with all hands.

MemorialPortsmouth Naval Memorial, 11
CWGC Information

Son of James Knox Kirkland, J.P. and Catherine Knox Kirkland, of Craiglilico, Cooe (sic), Dumbartonshire. Native of Glasgow


James K Kirkland (c1848-1927) & Catherine Mackay (c1859-1926), married 1894

Father's Occupation

Master baker


Only son (only child?)




Stanmore Park, Harrow
Royal Naval College, Osborne
Royal Naval College. Dartmouth


Naval officer

1901 Census

Not found

1911 Census

Dartmouth Naval College, Devon

Home Address

Not known

Glasgow NecropolisCompartment Zeta Lair 63
Other Memorials

Scottish National War Memorial
Cove and Kilcreggan War Memorial

Acknowledgements and Sources

Much of the information on which this profile is based is drawn from various internet sources which are listed below.  The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis also wish to make full acknowledgement and thanks for the permitted use of any information or images generously supplied specifically for exhibition, publication or display in connection with The Roll of Honour and accompanying profiles to Ancestry, and Find my past.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Family Search

Scotlands People

The Long, Long Trail

The Scottish War Memorials Project

Service Record of John S Kirkland (TNA ADM/196/118)

Corbett, JS Official History of the Great War. Naval Operations, vol III. 1923



Compiled by Morag Fyfe, Historical and Genealogical Researcher for The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis.

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