Arthur Attwood was born in St Albans on 4th January1881. He had served in the Royal Navy for many years. In the 1901 Census listed him serving with HMS “Benbow” at Keyham Dockyard, Devonport, and ten years later the 1911 Census recorded him serving with HMS “Minotaur” docked at Hong Kong. Sometime before War was declared in 1914, Arthur left the Navy, and the National Roll of the Great War indicated that he was called up from the Reserve in August 1914, and served in HMS “Good Hope”.
At the end of October 1914, HMS “Good Hope” was part of a Royal Navy Squadron of four ships commanded by Rear Admiral Sir Christopher Craddock. HMS “Good Hope” was a Drake Class Armoured Cruiser, and the flag-ship of Rear Admiral Craddock. The British ships had been sent to the west coast of South America to counter the German East Asia Squadron, commanded by Vice Admiral Graf Maximillian von Spee
Throughout the afternoon of 1st November the two squadrons clashed off the coast of Chile at the Battle of Coronel. The British ships were out-gunned. HMS “Good Hope” took thirty-five hits, caught fire, exploded, broke apart and sank. There were no survivors from the crew of around 900 seamen.
Arthur was listed in the Abbots Langley Roll of Honour, commemorated on the Abbots Langley War Memorial and also on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
The Abbots Langley Parish Magazine recorded that “Arthur Charles Attwood was lost in the ill-fated ‘Good Hope’ off the coast of Chile on November 1st, when some 900 lives were lost. He leaves a wife and two little girls to mourn his loss.”
In the summer of 1908 Arthur had married Kate Giffen, and at the time of his death she was living at Numbers Farm, Abbots Langley. By the time that the National Roll of the Great War was compiled in 1920 Arthur’s address was given as 38 Waterside, Kings Langley, and it is presumed that this would have been where his widow was living at that time. No reference was made to Arthur in the Kings Langley records, and he was not included on the Kings Langley War Memorial.