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Rear Admiral Sir Christopher George Francis Maurice Cradock KCVO CB RN (2 July 1862 – 1 November 1914) was a Britishmarker admiral.

He entered the Royal Navy in 1875, and saw action in the Mediterraneanmarker, serving with distinction.

In 1900 in Chinamarker during the Boxer Rebellion, he commanded a mixture of British, German and Japanese sailors during the capture of the Taku forts and received the Prussian Order of the Crown with swords as a result.

Cradock was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1910 and was awarded the KCVO in 1912. In 1913, he was given command of the North America and West Indiesmarker Station.

He was the author of three books, 'Sporting Notes in the Far East' (1889), 'Wrinkles in Seamanship' (1894), and 'Whispers From the Fleet' (1907) which contained advice for naval officers.

A monument to Admiral Cradock was placed in York Minstermarker. It is on the east side of the North Transept towards the Chapter House entrance. He was not married, but kept a dog which accompanied him at sea. He commented that he would choose to die either during an accident while hunting (this was his favourite pastime), or during action at sea.

Death at the Battle of Coronel

With the start of World War I, in August 1914, Cradock, commanding the 4th Squadron of the Royal Navy, was ordered to pursue and destroy Admiral Maximilian von Spee's fleet of commerce-raiding cruisers. Cradock's fleet was significantly weaker than Spee's, consisting of mainly elderly vessels manned by largely inexperienced crews.

Cradock found Spee's force off Chilemarker and decided to engage it. In the resulting Battle of Coronel, Cradock's ships HMS Good Hope and HMS Monmouth were destroyed with the loss of all lives, including his own.

Departing from Port Stanley he had left behind a letter to be forwarded to Admiral Hedworth Meux in the event of his death. In this he commented that he did not intend to suffer the fate of Rear Admiral Ernest Troubridge, who in August had been courtmartialled for failing to engage the enemy despite the odds being severely against him, during the Pursuit of Goeben and Breslau. The Governor of the Falklands and the Governor's aide both reported that Cradock had not expected to survive.

References

  1. 'Castles' p.221
  2. 'Castles' p.219 citing Marder Vol II, p.111
  3. 'Castles' p.219 citing Coronel and the Faulklands p. 92.


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