WILLIAM CREW

 

Was born to parents William and Emma and had five sisters and two brothers. The family lived at Locks Cottages, Bedminster Down Bristol, his father being a coal miner. William joined the Royal Navy and in 1911 he is listed as being on board HMS Carnarvon at anchor in Torbay which was an armoured cruiser built in 1905 which saw service at the Battle of the Falklands following the action in which William was killed.

 

William was serving as a stoker and was killed age 22 with all his shipmates when his ship the old battleship HMS Monmouth was sunk at the Battle of Coronel off the coast of Chile on the 1st November 1914.

 

The loss of HMS Monmouth 1st November 1914

The German light cruiser Nurnberg had been trailing the German squadron and spotted the plume of smoke from Glasgow at 20:35, and then saw Monmouth with a 10-degree list to port shortly afterwards. As Nürnberg closed the range, Monmouth‍`s list increased so that none of the guns on her port side could be used. The German cruiser closed to within 600 yards (550 m) and illuminated her flag with its spotlight in the hopes that she would strike her colours and surrender. There was no response from the British ship and Nürnberg opened fire at 21:20, aiming high, but there was still no response. The German ship then fired a torpedo which missed and turned off its searchlight. Monmouth then increased speed and turned towards Nürnberg, which caused her to open fire again. Monmouth capsized at 21:58, taking her entire crew of 735 men with her as the seas were too rough to attempt any rescue effort.

 

His sister Alice of 77 Victoria Road Bedminster was duly informed. William was awarded the 1914 Star and the British War and Victory medals.