A telescope that once belonged to Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Craddock has been purchased at auction by the Friends, and will soon be a treasured artifact in the Falklands' museum in Stanley.
The Falklands are associated with much naval heroism, but probably none greater than the brave but doomed attempt by Craddock and the crews of HMS Good Hope, Monmouth, Glasgow and Otranto in 1914 to defeat the more heavily armed flotilla commanded by Vice Admiral Graf von Spee.
Craddock knew that if he found the German ships, he would be outgunned, and before leaving the Falklands he let it be known that he did not expect to survive a clash with von Spee.
But when the enemy forces encountered each other off Coronel in Chile, his ships steamed into battle regardless. Craddock and all his crew went down with HMS Good Hope, and HMS Monmouth suffered the same fate. The remaining British ships managed to escape.
Admiral Craddock's personal telescope would not have been standard equipment in 1914, as by then these had been replaced by prismatic binoculars. And so it was left behind, finally to find a home in Stanley.
FIMA's Treasurer Richard Holme supervised our bid and personally collected the artifact.
He said: I found it wonderful to handle a telescope with such associations, and with Cradock’s name engraved on it. At a modest cost and with enthusiastic support from the Museum, we are very pleased with this purchase
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