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  • This photograph was taken shortly before Thomas Lowe's enlistment.
Person Details
10 Aug 1881
Nottingham
Thomas Lowe was the son of Thomas and Sarah Ann Lowe nee Cobb. His parents were married in 1867 (J/A/S Nottingham) and according to the 1911 Census had had 12 children of whom only seven were still living. Nine children were named on the census between 1881 and 1911: George, Henry, Gertrude, Thomas, Reuben, Francis, Sarah and Walter, and Eva. All the children were born in Nottingham, as were their parents. Thomas was a tailor and his wife Sarah worked either as a machinist or as a tailoress. In 1881 Thomas (30) and Sarah (32) were living at 8 Eley Court, Chesterfield Street, Nottingham, in the ecclesiastical parish of St Nicholas, with their three children, George (9), Henry (7) and Gertrude (2). Also in the household was Thomas' mother-in-law, Alice Cobb (54) a lace dresser. By 1891 Thomas and Sarah were living at 1 Holden Street, Nottingham with their children George (18) and Henry (16) who were both coal carters, Gertrude (12), Thomas (10), Reuben (8), Francis (5), Sarah (3) and Walter (7 months). The family was still living at 1 Holden Street, Nottingham, in 1901 and 1911. By 1911 Thomas and Sarah were still in the tailoring business. Only three of their children were at home on the night of the census: Gertrude (32) of no given occupation, Reuben (29), a coal carter, and Eva (9). Thomas' parents were still living at 1 Holden Street when he was killed in 1914. Thomas jnr joined the Royal Navy in 1896 and was discharged by purchase in September 1905. He married Elizabeth Newton (b. 7 December 1881, Brinsley, Nottinghamshire) on 28 September 1907 (J/A/S Nottingham) and they had one child, Thomas Eric Lowe b. 18 May 1908 (A/M/J Nottingham). In 1911 they were living at 17 Bombay Street, Nottingham. Thomas (29) was a postman. The family home was still at 17 Bombay Street when Thomas was killed in November 1914.
He joined the Royal Navy on 16 September 1896 and was discharged shore by purchase on 21 September 1905. In 1911 he was a postman.
01 Nov 1914
33
2871579 - CWGC Website
190575
Able Seaman
HMS Good Hope Royal Navy
(RFR/PO/B/1529). Thomas joined the Royal Navy on 16 September 1896 as a Boy 2nd Class and entered on a 12 years continuous service engagement on 10 August 1899, his 18th birthday. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: HMS Impregnable, 16 September 1896-21 September 1896 (Boy 2nd Class); HMS Ganges, 22 September 1896-10 June 1897; HMS Impregnable, 11 June 1897-20 August 1897 (Boy 1st Class, 12 August 1897); HMS Ganges, 21 August 1897-11 February 1898; HMS Black Prince, 12 February 1897-22 April 1898; HMS Australia, 23 April 1898-13 August 1898; HMS Hannibal, 14 August 1898-10 January 1900 (Ordinary Seaman, 10 August 1899); HMS Vernon, 11 January 1900-21 April 1900; MS Duke of Wellington I, 22 April 1900-3 September 1900; HMS Nymphe, 4 September 1900-27 January 1901; 42 days HL [hard labour]- refusing to do (-) (-); HMS Nymphe, 10 March 1901-11 March 1904 (Able Seaman, 25 July 1901); HMS Firequeen, 12 March 1904-(-); HMS Seahorse, 30 April 1904 -27 May 1905; Victory I, 28 March 1905-21 September 1905. He was discharged shore by purchase on 21 September 1905 having completed 6 years of a 12 year engagement and joined the RFR [Royal Fleet Reserve] on 22 September 1905, to serve to 9 August 1911. However, he re-enrolled in the RFR on 10 August 1911 to serve to 9 August 1916 and consequently was mobilised shortly before the outbreak of war and drafted to HMS Good Hope as an Able Seaman on 13 July 1914. He served in HMS Good Hope to 24 July 1914 then Victory I, 25 July 1914-30 July 1914 and finally HMS Good Hope from 31 July 1914 until the ship was lost in the Battle of Coronel on 1 November 1914. His RN record was annotated, ‘NP2788/14.DD [Discharged Dead] 1 Nov 1914. Lost when HMS Good Hope was sunk in action off Chilian Coast.’ His 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 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. Good Hope was sunk with all hands, a total of 919 men.
Nottingham Evening Post, 1 December 1914: Photograph with caption, 'AB T Lowe, 1 Holden Street, Nottingham, lost with HMS Good Hope.'
Remembered on

Photos

  • This photograph was taken shortly before Thomas Lowe's enlistment.
    Courtesy of Able Seaman Lowe's grandson George Lowe. - This photograph was taken shortly before Thomas Lowe's enlistment.
  • Nottingham Evening Post 1/12/1914
    Thomas Lowe - Nottingham Evening Post 1/12/1914
  • Courtesy of Wikipedia
    HMS Good Hope - Courtesy of Wikipedia