Last Letter of George

Two weeks before Coronel the Admiralty was informed that German trade had revived between Valparaiso and P Arenas, so Cradock sent Glasgow, Monmouth and Otranto to Valparaiso to check out the information. They found no movement on the coast, however while at Valparaiso it was strongly rumoured that Spee was near (at the time he was at Eater Island), and being no match for the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau they fell back to joined with Cradock at Vallenar Roads.

While at Valparaiso the crew had the chance to send letters to their loved ones at home, George Henry Holdaway ( J/20336, Boy 1st Class) was one of those who took this opportunity to send a few words. My thanks go to his niece Joyce Maddock for allowing me to reproduce it here.

George's Letter

George's Letter (transcript right)
From Georg
Dear Elsie
I am allright up to present, shall be in battle in a few days, had 1 or 2 fights with armed liners in Pacific, am sending this from Valparaiso.
Good Bye

The envelope from George's last letter

The envelope from George's last letter (above)
Memorial Card
George's Memorial Card

Returned letter

George's sister Elsie had also written to him, but sadly he never received it and it was returned overstamped 'SHIP LOST'.

Back to top