John Henry Goldrisk Hackett

Date of birth: 9th December 1886
Place of birth: Ryde, I.o.W
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy
Vessel: HMS Good Hope
Rank / Service No: 2nd Yeoman of Signals, 205808
Died: 1st November 1914, aged 27 years
Commemorated: Portsmouth Naval Memorial


There is some confusion over who John’s parents were; “official” records suggest that his mother was called Agnes, but his has not been borne out by research.

John appears to have been born to James John and Eliza Hackett; it is a complete mystery what the couple were doing on the Isle of Wight.


John was born on 7 June 1858 in Dundee and Eliza was born in 1859 in Englefield, Berkshire.

At the 1891 Census, the family are living in Stoke.


On the 1st December 1891, Grace Eagle Hackett is born in Reading. Mysteriously, Grace is living with her Aunt, Mary Eagle, in Reading at the 1901 Census.

It is difficult to tell if Grace is John’s true blood sister; Grace married John Orchard in Eton in 1913, a Mr Cox in 1923 and she passed away in Nottingham in 1950.


John is to be found in a “Finishing Store” at 17 The Broadway, Deptford at the 1911 Census.

On Christmas Day 1913, whilst in Lewisham, John married Crissy Ella Town.


Crissy was born in Malling, Kent but had been living in east London for a number of years.

She passed away in Bromley in 1979.


HMS Good Hope was one of four Drake-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy around 1900.

Originally called Africa, she was launched from Govan on 21 December 1901.


When war broke out, Good Hope was on reserve but she was recommissioned in mid-1914.

She was sent to reinforce the 4th Cruiser Squadron and the squadron was moved to the coast of South America to look for German commerce raiders (armed vessels disguised as merchant ships).


The squadron was then ordered to the Straits of Magellan, to block any attempt of the German East Asia Squadron to penetrate into the South Atlantic.


The Allied squadron found the German squadron off the coast of Chile on 1 November 1914, and so began the Battle of Coronel.

The Germans outnumbered the British and were individually more powerful. At 19.00, Good Hope was fired upon by the Scharnhorst and she was soon on fire.


Rear Admiral Christopher Cradock, on board Good Hope, ordered her to close on the Scharnhorst to allow Good Hope to fire her much lower-powered guns.

As this action took place, the other German cruisers all fired on Good Hope and she sank at approximately 20.00


All 919 crew were lost.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 1st Setember 2016


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