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  • HMS Good Hope in which George Gautrey was serving when she was sunk during the Battle of Coronel
Person Details
22 Apr 1880
George was born on 22nd April 1880 (1880 A/M/J Doncaster) at Bawtry and was the son of George, a shepherd, and Hannah Gautrey nee French. George and Hannah had nine children only five of whom survived in 1911. We first come across George in the 1881 census when his father George and mother Hannah lived at Station Road, Bawtry with George who was 4 months old. Also at the address were his older sisters Eliza 12 years and Emily 6 years. According to a report of George's death in the local paper in November 1914 his parents lived at George Inn Yard, Retford. In the 1901 census George had left home and was a servant 20 years of age and a barman at the Cattle Market Hotel, Bridge Street, Worksop. He joined the Royal Navy in June 1902 and was discharged by purchase in 1908 when he then worked at Langwith Colliery. George married Lillian Keyworth Colton (b. 15 December 1886) on 6 January 1906 (J/F/M Sheffield) and they had three children: George William b. 13 October 1906, Kathleen Melody b. 7 June 1912 and Constance Lillian born posthumously on 14 January 1915. In the 1911 Census Lillian and her son George William were living with her parents at 25 Howard Street, Mansfield. Lillian and her two eldest children were living at 25 Howard Street at the time of George's death in 1914 and she continued to live at this address after her second marriage to Bert Barratt in 1917 (J/A/S Mansfield). At the time of the 1939 England & Wales Register Lillian Barratt (married, 'unpaid domestic duties') was listed at 20 Spencer Street, Mansfield. Also at the same address were her unmarried daughter Constance and her widowed daughter Kathleen Elliott who had married Bernard H Elliott in 1934 (O/N/D Mansfield). George William married Florence M Charlesworth (b. 31 August 1905) in 1937 (A/M/J Mansfield). In 1939 George, a coal hewer, and Florence were living in Mansfield. George died at Blidworth Colliery near Mansfield on 20 November 1959; he was living at 48 Hibbert Road, Mansfield. His wife Florence survived him. Kathleen married secondly Henry Chambers in 1942 (A/M/J Mansfield) and died in 1978 (Sep Mansfield) age 66. Constance married Arthur A Radford in 1940 (J/A/S Mansfield) and died in 2005 (May Mansfield) aged 90.
He joined the Royal Navy on 5 June 1902 and was discharged in 1908. He then worked at Langwith Colliery.
01 Nov 1914
2871169 - CWGC Website
Stoker 1st Class
HMS Good Hope Royal Navy
(RFR/PO/B/2768). George joined the Royal Navy on 5 June 1902 on a 12 year continuous service engagement. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Duke of Wellington, 5 June 1902-16 January 1903 (Stoker 2nd Class); HMS Prince George, 17 January 1903-30 June 1903 (Stoker, 1 April 1903); [record annotated ‘Run’ ie deserted, from HMS Prince George, Portsmouth, on 30 June 1903, apprehended and returned to duty]; HMS Firequeen; 13 January 1904-7 March 1904; HMS Brilliant, 8 March 1904-12 December 1904; HMS Firequeen, 13 December 1904-5 January 1905; HMS Furious, 6 January 1905-16 January 1906; Victory II, 17 January 1906-29 January 1906; HMS Iphigenia, 30 January 1906-25 August 1906 (Stoker 1st Class, 1 July 1906); Victory II, 26 August 1906-22 October 1916; HMS Iphigenia, 23 October 1906-3 November 1906; Victory II, 6 November 1906-17 November 1906; Sapphire II, 18 November 1906-20 December 1906; HMS Hindustan, 21 December 1906-19 August 1907; Victory II, 20 August 1907-16 September 1907; HMS Hecla, 17 September 1907-12 July 1908; (7 days Cells), HMS Hecla, 20 July 1908-14 September 1908; Victory II, 15 September 1908-19 September 1908. George was discharged shore by purchase (£12) 19 September 1908 and joined the Royal Fleet Reserve (Portsmouth B2768) on 20 September 1908. He was mobilised on 13 July 1914 shortly before the outbreak of war and was drafted to HMS Good Hope (Stoker 1st Class) on 13 July 1914-24 July 1914; Victory II, 25 July 1914-30 July 1914; and HMS Good Hope, 31 July 1914-1 November 1914. His RN record was annotated, ‘NP 2788/14. DD [Discharged Dead]. Lost when HMS Good Hope was sunk in action off Chilian Coast.’ HMS Good Hope was lost with all hands at the Battle of the Coronel off the coast of Chile. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. He qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. HMS Good Hope was a Drake Class armoured cruiser built in 1901. By 1914 she was Rear Admiral Sir Christopher George Cradock’s flag ship which, along with HMS Monmouth and other British vessels of 4th Cruiser Squadron, encountered Vice Admiral Von Spee’s Scharnhorst and Gneisenau forty five miles off the Chilean port of Coronel. The German ships were faster and more heavily armed than Cradock’s fleet. The sun set at 18:50 on November 1st 1914, which silhouetted the British ships against the light sky while the German ships became indistinguishable from the shoreline behind them. Spee immediately turned to close and signalled his ships to open fire at 19:04 when the range closed to 12,300 yards. Spee's flagship, Scharnhorst, engaged Good Hope while Gneisenau fired at Monmouth. Cradock's flagship was hit on the Scharnhorst's third salvo, when shells knocked out her forward 9.2-inch turret and set her forecastle on fire. Cradock, knowing his only chance was to close the range, continued to do so despite the battering that Spee's ships inflicted. By 19:23 the range was almost half of that when the battle began and the British ships bore onwards. Spee tried to open the range, fearing a torpedo attack, but the British were only 5,500 yards away at 19:35. Seven minutes later, Good Hope charged directly at the German ships, although they dodged out of her way. Spee ordered his armoured cruisers to concentrate their fire on the British flagship which had drifted to a halt with her topsides ablaze. At 19:50 her forward magazine exploded, severing the bow from the rest of the ship, and she later sank in the darkness. Spee estimated that his flagship had made 35 hits on Good Hope, suffering only two hits in return that did no significant damage and failed even to wound one crewman. HMS Good Hope was sunk with all hands, a total of over 900 men.
Age at death: George's RN record gives his date of birth as 22 April 1883. However, his birth was registered in 1880 (A/M/J). The CWGC record gives his age at the time of his death in November 1914 as 35, meaning a date of birth in 1879, while the report of his death in the local paper gives his age as 34, meaning a date of birth in 1880. There were several men belonging to Retford and District who were on the HMS Good Hope when it foundered during action with a German Squadron off the Chilean coast. In the official list published last Monday (23rd November) of officers and men missing after the disaster appear the names mentioned below. "In the absence of evidence to the contrary it is feared " says an Admiralty communication, "That those enumerated in the list have lost their lives in the engagement" The Retford Times 27th November 1914 article reads:- 'On The Good Hope - Victims from Retford and District One of the men to perish was Able Seaman Valentine William Rogers, thirty-two, who was a postman for Eaton, Gamston, Rockley and West Drayton. Very sadly, Rogers's wife had died on 11th May 1914 and he had been left with a baby of two weeks. His sister in Nottingham, however took the baby. He was in the Reserve [Royal Fleet Reserve] and had been called up for the usual months training in July 1914 never to return. Rogers was to die in the fateful action of 1st November 1914, off the coast of Chile, which was to become known as the Battle of Coronel. 'Another man to die in the Battle of Coronel was George William Gawtrey (sic) aged thirty-four son of Mr and Mrs Gawtrey (sic) who lived at George Inn Yard, Retford. George, who was a 1st Class Stoker, left a widow and two daughters [son and daughter; a second daughter was born in January 1915] who at the time of his death were living at 25 Howard Road, Mansfield. Like Valentine Rogers, George Gawtrey (sic) was called up in July, never to return home. Before the outbreak of the war he was employed at Langwith Pit. 'The sad news is distressing as Mrs Gawtrey (sic) was seriously ill, and that two of her brothers were also serving , George Keyworth with HMS Antrim and William Keyworth who is with the Notts and Derby Regiment.' CWGC: 'Son of Hannah Gautrey, and the late George Gautrey, of Rufford; husband of Lillian Barratt (formerly Gautrey), of 25, Howard Rd., Mansfield.' Probate: Gautrey George William [son] of 48 Hibbert Road Mansfield Nottinghamshire died 20 November 1959 at Blidworth Colliery near Mansfield Administration Nottingham 25 May to Florence Mary Gautrey widow. Effects £933 12s.
Remembered on


  • HMS Good Hope in which George Gautrey was serving when she was sunk during the Battle of Coronel
    George Gautrey - HMS Good Hope in which George Gautrey was serving when she was sunk during the Battle of Coronel