Last Signal


LAST GLORIOUS SIGNAL OF HMS MONMOUTH.

TRIED TO TORPEDO ENEMY WHILE SINKING.

A new incident in the last fight of HMS Monmouth, sunk by the German cruisers in the action off Coronel, is related by one of the crew of the Glasgow in a letter received at Newport, Isle of Wight.

After describing how the Good Hope caught fire and blew up the writer says:-

That was the end of the Good Hope, and it did not make things very cheerful for our two remaining ships.

After about one and a half hours’ fighting the Monmouth caught fire too, but fortunately got it under. She was badly damaged. We also had several big holes below the waterline, one funnel smashed and several men wounded.

Shortly after the Monmouth hauled off and we followed. The Monmouth then reported, “Am making water badly forward. Engines disabled and in a sinking condition, but am making towards the enemy to try and torpedo her.”
Newspaper article - Last signal of HMS Monmouth

That was the last we saw of the good old Monmouth, and it made tears come into everyone’s eyes when the captain told us of the signal. It was impossible to lower a boat or stay behind to render them assistance as we had all our work cut out to keep afloat, and there was a tremendous sea running.

So our captain ordered “Full speed ahead.” As the enemy were making us a good target, and if we had stayed much longer we should have shared the fate of the others. So we were defeated, but not disgraced by a long way.

Reproduced from a newspaper article dated 21 December 1914; the newspaper is unknown at present.
Supplied by J.D.Atkinson.

 

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