Monday, February 19, 2024

An Heraldic Memorial to a Rear-Admiral

This next memorial dates to the early days of World War I.

Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Craddock (1862-1914) lost his life on November 1, 1914, in the Battle of Coronel, off the coast of Chile, a naval engagement between the Royal Navy and the German East Asia Squadron under Vice-Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee. There is a Wikipedia article which gives the story of the events leading up to, the course of, and the aftermath of the Battle of Coronel. It can be found on-line at:, and is well worth the read.

The inscription on the monument can say far better than I why Rear-Admiral Craddock is memorialized here (you can, of course, click on the image below to see a larger, and more readable, photograph of the insccription):

 At the top of the monument are the Rear-Admiral's arms:

His arms ar blazoned: Argent on a chevron sable three garbs or, a bordure wavy sable. His crest is A bear’s head sable muzzled gules charged with a bend sinister wavy or. And his motto is: Nec temere nec timide (Neither rashly nor timidly).*

The monument, sculpted by F. W. Pomeroy, was placed in York Minster on June 16, 1916.

* Although some of the Royal Navy sailors who died in the Battle of Coronel might not agree with the first half of his motto. Still, it was war, and I'm not going to play "armchair admiral" here and try to second-guess what the Rear-Admiral could've/should've done differently.

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