Joseph Carter was a seaman in the Royal Navy. He had been born and bred in Stourbridge, but by 1914 he was married to Ethel and living at 14 Kings Gardens, Plymouth. He was a Mechanic on board HMS Monmouth, which was stationed in the Pacific. The navy's first task was to protect British trade and for the Pacific this meant destroying the German East Asiatic Squadron. This was a small but modern force under Vice-Admiral Graf von Spee. Monmouth was an elderly armoured cruiser and the other ships in the naval group under Admiral Cradock were little better. The two forces converged off the Chilean coast near Cape Coronel on 31st October 1914. Cradock saw his duty as halting a very damaging foe and was prepared to join battle on the next day. Superior German gunnery quickly damaged Monmouth beyond repair, but as night fell it was hoped she could limp away. However, she was located by searchlight and sunk by the German light cruiser, Nurnberg, with the total loss of the crew of nearly 600. The defeat was avenged a month later on the 8th December by British victory at the Falkland Isles. Mechanic Joseph Carter was 31 years of age and is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval, Stourbridge and St. Thomas's church Memorials.
Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, West Midlands, United Kingdom
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