Regiment : H.M.S. Monmouth Royal Navy
Service number : 303642
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : 1st November 1914 aged 31
Buried : Commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England, Panel 2.
Relatives : Son of J. And E. Carter, of Stourbridge: husband of Ethel Martha Louisa Carter, 37A Kings Gardens, Plymouth
Memorial : Stourbridge War Memorial
Also appears on : Stourbridge St Thomas's Church
Credits : Researched by The Black Country Society. HMS Monmouth researched by Sandra Taylor.
Native of Birmingham.
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.
HMS Monmouth was an Armoured Cruiser. At the outbreak of WW1 she was placed in the West Indies Squadron under Sir Christopher Craddock. On 1st November 1914, off the coast of Chile, the British ships encountered a number of German ships under the command of Vice-Admiral Graf Maximilian Von Spee. With weak armament and an inexperienced crew, the ensuing Battle of Coronel resulted in the loss of HMS Monmouth. HMS Good Hope was also sunk during the battle. There were no survivors from either ship.
Joseph Carter has no known grave, the photograph available shows his name on Plymouth Naval Memorial.