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Person Details
12 Sep 1884
John was the son of Charles Joshua Gosling and Maria Gosling nee Radford (b. 1859, married Nottingham 1876). No records have been found for Charles apart from that of his marriage although Maria was to have at least three children; William, Charles and John. On the night of the 1881 census Maria (22), a cigar maker, was in her mother's home at 2 St Michael Street, Nottingham, with her son William (4). By 1891 she was living at 3 Beacon Street, Nottingham and although still married was described as the head of the household. Also at home were her three sons, William (14), Charles (11) and John (6). Also in the household were two lodgers Kate Clarke (23, cigar maker) and Mary A Radford (30, lace scalloper) who was Maria's sister. John joined the Royal Navy in 1900 and at the time of the 1901 census was under training at the Royal Navy's training establishment, HMS Ganges, near Ipswich. John married Nellie Elson Eyre in Nottingham in 1909 (registered April/May/June). In 1901 Nellie (16 b. Eastwood) had been a domestic servant in the Nottingham household of Rudolf and Gertrude Hempel and their three children. John transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve in September 1909 (own request). At the time of the 1911 census he was living at 6 Glen Roy Terrace, Hood Street, Sherwood, Nottingham; Nellie was not at home on the night of the census. Also in the household were two boarders, Hilda Eyre (15, b. Eastwood, laundry hand) and Amanda Melvina Eyre (13 b. Eastwood, errand girl). Hilda and Amanda were sisters, the daughters of Ellen and Samuel Eyre; they were probably related to Nellie. In 1911 John's widowed mother, Maria, was living with her eldest son William, his wife Kate (37) and daughter Edna (8) at 5 Marshall Street, Nottingham. Maria died in 1925 aged 66. John's RN record shows that Glen Roy Terrace was John's home address at the time of his death although the notice of his death in the local paper gives his widow's address as Glewby Terrace, Sherwood. It is likely that Nellie remarried as there is a record of a Nellie E Gosling marrying a John W Draycott in 1921 (Jul/Aug/Sep); she died in 1967 age 82 (death registered Nottingham, March).
He was a bottle washer when he joined the Royal Navy in June 1900. He served in the Royal Navy until 1909 when he transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve. In 1911 he was a platelayer. He was mobilized in July 1914.
01 Nov 1914
281197 - CWGC Website
Able Seaman
HMS Good Hope Royal Navy
RFR/PO/B/3312. John joined the Royal Navy on 12 June 1900 at the age of 15 and signed a 12 year engagement on 12 September 1902, his 18th birthday. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: HMS Ganges 12 June 1900-9 May 1901 (Boy 2nd Class, Boy 1st Class from 4 April 1901); HMS Minotaur 10 May 1901-20 June 1901; HMS Ganges 21 June 1901-27 August 1901; HMS St Vincent 28 August 1901-19 October 1901; HMS Minotaur 20 October 1901-5 November 1901; HMS Agincourt 6 November 1901-1 December 1901; HMS Trafalgar 2 December 101-29 August 1902; HMS Royal Sovereign 30 August 1902-20 June 1904 (Ordinary Seaman 12 September 1902); (-) 21 November 1902-2 December 1903; HMS Furious 3 December 1903-3 March 1906 (Able Seaman 6 October 1904); HMS Vernon 4 March 1906-21 July 1906; Victory I 22 July 1906-8 January 1907; HMS (-) 9 January 1907-12 March 1907; HMS Tamar 13 March 1907-31 March 1907; HMS King Alfred 1 April 1907-30 September 1907; HMS Tamar 1 October 1907-31 March 1908; HMS King Alfred 1 April 1908-30 September 1908; HMS Tamar 1 October 1908-25 February 1909; HMS Hawke 26 February 1909-28 May 1909; Victory I 29 May 1909-21 August 1909; HMS Vernon 22 August 1909-16 September 1909; Victory I 17 September 1909-18 September 1909. Shore purchase, RFR. Joined RFR Portsmouth B3312 19 September 1909. HMS Good Hope 12 July 1914-24 July 1914; Victory I 25 July 1914-30 July 1914; HMS Good Hope 31 July 1914-1 November 1914. Records annotated ‘£8 paid for VS Victory I Sep 1909.’ and ‘DD 1 November 1914. Lost when HMS Good Hope was sunk in action off Chilian Coast.’ John bought himself out of the Navy in 1909 after serving 7 years of a 12 year engagement but was mobilized in July 1914 and drafted to HMS Good Hope. Good Hope was lost at the Battle of Coronel on 1 November 1914; John's body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. HMS Good Hope was a Drake Class armoured cruiser built in 1901. By 1914 she was the flagship of Rear Admiral Sir Christopher George Cradock, 4th Cruiser Squadron, which included HMS Good Hope, Monmouth, Glasgow and the armed merchant cruiser Otranto. The squadron intercepted Vice Admiral von Spee’s squadron which included Scharnhorst and Gneisenau forty five miles off the Chilean port of Coronel. None of the ships in Cradock's squadron posed a threat to von Spee’s modern ships, which had greater fire-power than those of the British Squadron, and Good Hope and Monmouth’s ship’s companies mainly comprised reservists whereas von Spee’s crews were well trained and experienced. 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 attacked HMS Monmouth. HMS Good Hope was hit by Scharnhorst's third salvo, and the 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 sailed toward the German ships, which successfully evaded her; Spee ordered his armoured cruisers to concentrate 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 and she later sank in the darkness. Von 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 to injure any of his crew. Good Hope was lost with all hands, a total of 919 officers and men. The captain of Cradock’s flagship, HMS Good Hope, was Captain Philip Francklin, who was a career officer and came from Gonalston Nottinghamshire (commemorated on the Gonalston memorial). Admiral von Spee’s squadron was destroyed, and he and his two sons killed, when the Royal Navy under Admiral Sturdee exacted retribution six weeks later at the Battle of the Falkland Islands on 8 December 1914.
Register of Seamen's Services records physical marks: 'Wounds, scars, marks etc: heart pierced by arrow, sailor JG and hearts tattooed on arm, tombstone and cross swords on R arm, ballet girl, girl’s head and minstrel.' Nottingham Evening Post, 'Roll of Honour', 23 November 1914: 'Gosling lost off the Chilean coast November 1st, John Gosling age 30, HMS Good Hope, husband of Nellie Gosling, Glewby Terrace, Sherwood.' Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 1 November 1915: ‘Gosling. In loving memory of John Gosling, who went down in HMS Good Hope, November 1st, 1914. In ocean caves still safe with Thee, the germ of immortality. Mother and brother Will.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) His wife also placed an 'In Memoriam' notice in the paper in 1915. Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 1 November 1916: ‘Gosling. In loving remembrance of my devoted husband, Jack, lost with HMS Good Hope, November 1st, 1914. sweet is the memory of a loving husband. Sadly missed by his loving wife and children.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
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