James was born in Kinsteignton on 23 Jan 1883 and was a member of the Royal Marine Light Infantry serving on HMS Monmouth. Royal Marines served as guns’ crews at battle stations at sea, and as infantrymen if detachments were sent ashore.
Cruising off Coronel in South America, HMS Monmouth found the German squadron of Spee, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Leipzig, Dresden and Nurberg; all modern ships with crack crews. The setting sun silhouetted the British squadron whilst the German ships were hard to see in the failing light. The German fire was rapid and accurate and during the evening HMS Good Hope suffered a magazine explosion and sank soon afterwards with no survivors.
HMS Monmouth was also in a bad way, being on fire and listing to port. Closing in, the Nurberg finished her off with gunfire at point blank and all hands were lost. The pride of the Royal Navy had been dented with its first defeat for over a century at the Battle of Coronel and the loss of two armoured cruisers and nearly 1600 crew.
A memorial to all those who perished at Coronel can be found in the Christ Church Cathedral in Stanley on the East Falkland Island.
James died on 1st November 1914 at Coronel, Chile and he is listed on the memorial in Christ Church Cathedral, Falkland Islands
|Next of Kin:|
|Unit||RM Light Infantry serving on HMS Monmouth|
|Died On:||1st November 1914|
|Where:||Pacific Ocean, Coronel, Chile|
|Where Buried:||At Sea|
|Memorial:||Christ Church Cathedral, Falkland Islands|