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Person Details
He was the son of Frank and Harriet Johnson (later Corbett). In 1911 they lived at 2 Wasnidge Street Lamartine Street St Ann's Nottingham. He was the husband of Celia M (née Wright) Johnson who married Harry Bradbury in 1919 and they lived at 21 Chatsworth Grove Bangor Street Nottingham.
www.midlandrailwaystudycentre.org.uk/king_and_country: 'Nottingham: Johnson AA, Traffic Motive Power Section, Labourer. Seaman. Drowned from HMS Good Hope, Chile, Nov 1st.'
01 Nov 1914
25
2871434 - CWGC Website
SS/1613
Able Seaman
HMS Good Hope Royal Navy
(RFR/PO/B/4543) Albert Arthur Johnson 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. 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 even to wound one crewman. Good Hope was sunk with all hands, a total of 919 officers and men. Rachel Farrand notes ‘Good Hope and Monmouth’s ship’s companies mainly comprised reservists whereas von Spee’s crews were well trained and experienced. There were just two other British ships the light cruiser HMS Glasgow and the armed merchant cruiser Otranto neither of which were a threat to von Spee’s modern ships which had a greater fire-power than those of the British Squadron. The captain of Cradock’s flagship, HMS Good Hope, was Captain Philip Francklin, who was a career officer and came from Gonalston Nottinghamshire (he is on the Gonalston memorial). A postscript is that 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 8/12/1914.’
He is not commemorated on the memorial at Nottingham Midland Station although he worked for the railway in Nottingham
Remembered on