| The Battle of Coronel took place on 1 November 1914 off the coast of central Chile near the city of Coronel. German Kaiserliche Marine forces led by Vice-Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee met and defeated a Royal Navy squadron commanded by Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock. Although Spee had an easy victory, destroying two enemy armoured cruisers for just three men injured, the engagement also cost him half his supply of ammunition, which it was impossible to replace.|
Shock at the British losses led to an immediate reaction and the sending of more ships which in turn destroyed Spee and his squadron at the Battle of the Falkland Islands. Two British armoured cruisers, HMS Monmouth and HMS Good Hope were sunk with the loss of nearly 1600 men.
HMS Monmouth participated in the Battle of Coronel off the coast of Chile on 1 November 1914. Outmatched and with an inexperienced crew, she was quickly overwhelmed, being unable to use many of her guns due to the stormy weather. Early in the battle, a 21 cm (8.2 inch) shell from SMS Gneisenau penetrated the armour of the forward 6 inch gun turret, destroying it and causing a massive fire on the forecastle. More serious hits followed, and she soon could no longer hold her place in the line of battle. When it was clear that Monmouth was out of action, Gneisenau shifted fire to HMS Good Hope. A short while later, drifting and on fire, Monmouth was attacked by the newly arrived light cruiser SMS Nurnberg which fired seventy-five 10.5 cm (4.1 inch) shells at close range.
H.M.S. Good Hope was sunk along with HMS Monmouth by the German armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau under Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee with the loss of her entire complement of 900 hands. She was an armoured cruiser manned by a crew of reservists and cadets and was the flag ship of Rear Admiral Sir Christopher Craddock commanding a squadron of ageing ships. There were no survivors.
Monmouth and Good Hope both sank with a combined loss of 1,570 lives. There was no survivor from either ship. In total 33 Freemasons lost their lives at the Battle of Coronel. A Memorial to Rear Admiral Sir Christopher Craddock is to be found in York Minster.