Future king left the sick bay to fight at Jutland

King George VI manned a gun turret during the First World War battle of Jutland despite feeling unwell after a "surfeit of soused herring", according to released government documents.

King George VI manned a gun turret during the First World War battle of Jutland despite feeling unwell after a "surfeit of soused herring", according to released government documents.

Details about the king's military service, just unveiled by the Public Record Office, include comments on his stammer and ill health.

The documents show that his general conduct aboard HMS Collingwood was regarded by senior officers as merely "satisfactory" but that the ship's captain noted that the future king, who was then Prince Albert, "promises well". He was said to take charge, assume responsibility and "handle men well".

In August 1914 it was recorded that Prince Albert was making "favourable progress", but there were a number of sick leave entries. He spent a month at Balmoral Castle, at Ballater, Scotland, in September 1915. On the eve of the battle of Jutland, he was in the sick bay aboard the Collingwood, suffering from a surfeit of soused herring.

Despite this, he manned his gun turret, fighting throughout the engagement - the last British monarch to see action in war. He was commended in the London Gazette for his part in the battle.

After his time on HMS Collingwood, where his general conduct was regarded as only being "satisfactory", he spent some time on staff working for Sir Stanley Colville, commander in chief at Portsmouth, who described the future king "very zealous and hardworking".

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