John was a Good Hope victim

John Francis lost when HMS Good Hope was sunk at the Battle of Coronel.
John Francis lost when HMS Good Hope was sunk at the Battle of Coronel.
Phil Spaven, Paul Morgan. Ian Whitewood and Roger Glancefield with Paul Morgan's 1940s Willys JEEP    (180082_01)

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Last week I published some memories of HMS Good Hope and the memorial service at Catherington. Unfortunately one photograph came in too late for publication.

It shows John Francis and as a boy he lived with his parents at 55, Moreland Road, Gosport. His father, also John, was a private in the Royal Marine Light Infantry.

Aged 31 at the time he was lost, John jnr was married to Amy and they lived at 5, Shaftesbury Road, Gosport.

They had three children and at the time of his death they were John, seven, Maude, six, and 16-month-old Jess. I wonder how Amy managed with three children to bring up?

It just happened to be Amy’s birthday on the day the news of the sinking came in. She was out shopping that day and heard a newspaper seller shouting ‘Good Hope lost’.

How she must have taken that can only be imagined.

The name of John has carried on through the family and John’s great grandson also John Francis sent in the photograph.

Apart from the story I must add that when I saw the photograph and noticed John in what would have been his No1 dress uniform and how smart he looks in the short jerkin-like top.

Later the top was a three-quarter length jacket, but I think this uniform looked ultra smart for the period.