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The Sinking of H.M.S. Hood - 24 May 1941

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The Sinking of H.M.S. Hood

24 May 1941

Including those who previously served on her.

HMS Hood (pennant number 51) was the last battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy. Commissioned in 1920, she was named after the 18th-century Admiral Samuel Hood.

May 2016 is the 75th anniversary of Hood's sinking. 2016 is also the centenary of the Hood's keel laying.

The purpose of this project is to include as many Geni profiles as possible in memory of the sinking. Please add/link Geni profiles of people who served on or were H.M.S. Hood casualties to this project, regardless of rank or nationality. Names can be added to the alphabetical list below.

Note: Names with Bold links are to Geni profiles or projects. Other links take you to external biographical web pages.

Name: Hood
Namesake: Admiral Samuel Hood
Ordered: 7 April 1916
Builder: John Brown & Company
Laid down: 1 September 1916
Launched: 22 August 1918
Commissioned: 15 May 1920
In service: 1920–1941
Identification: Pennant number: 51
Motto: Ventis Secundis (Latin: "With Favourable Winds") Nickname: Mighty Hood
Fate: Sunk during the Battle of Denmark Strait, 24 May 1941
Badge: A Cornish chough bearing an anchor facing left over the date 1859



Full details of her career can be seen at H.M.S. Hood Career Timeline

1915 The Admiralty ordered Sir Eustace Tennyson d’Eyncourt, Director of Naval Construction (DNC), to evolve battleship designs. The Admiralty proposed the construction of four large battlecruisers armed with 15" guns and capable of speeds of 33 knots.

1916 Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, Commander-in-Chief Grand Fleet submitted a detailed requirement for a class of large battle cruisers instead of battleships. The Admiralty ordered the DNC to prepare six battle cruiser designs which were prepared by the DNC's design team, under the supervision of E.L. Atwood. The final design was approved in April 1916.

1918 Hood was launched at 1305 hours by Lady Hood (widow of Sir Horace Hood lost at Jutland). Following the launch, Hood spent the next two years fitting out.

1920 - Captain Wilfred Tomkinson assumed command on January 1st.

1925 Captain Harold Owen Reinold assumed command of Hood.

1927 Captain Wilfred F. French assumed command of Hood.

1931 Some members of Hood's crew participated in varying degrees in the "Invergordon Mutiny" over a proposed reduction in pay rates Navy-wide.

1932 Captain Thomas H. Binney assumed command.

1936 Captain Arthur Francis Pridham assumed command.

1937 Cdr James Gould (HMS/m. Thames) married Miss Anne Pridham, Capt. Pridham's eldest daughter, in the only wedding ever held aboard Hood.

1938 Admiral Sir Harold Thomas Coulthard Walker ("Hooky") assumed command of Hood.

1939 In January Captain H.T.C. "Hooky" Walker was transferred to H.M.S. Barham. Temporary command was assigned to Commander William Davis. In May Captain Irvine G. Glennie assumed command. On 31st August Royal Navy mobilised for war. Hood departed Scapa Flow to form patrol between Iceland and Faeroes with Battle Cruiser Squadron (Repulse and Renown) and three destroyers.


1939 26 September: Hood was struck by one 500 lb bomb from a Ju-88 bomber; glancing hit of her port side with detonation in the sea. Hood suffered a few sprung rivets, port bulge amidships flooded slightly, condensers damaged and minor shrapnel damage.


15 February, 1941 Captain Ralph Kerr assumed command.

12 May, 1941 Vice Admiral Lancelot Holland and staff transfer to the Hood to command the Battlecruiser Squadron.

24 May, 1941: Hood sunk in the Battle of the Denmark Strait. In the engagement, Hood, Prince of Wales and Bismarck all received damage. At 0600, Hood sank following a catastrophic conflagration/explosion most likely resulting from a deep penetrating hit from Bismarck. Out of a crew of 1,418 only three (Ordinary Signalman Ted Briggs, Midshipman William Dundas and Able Seaman Robert Tilburn) survived. Despite the loss of Hood, the action DID achieve the result of effectively cancelling the German sortie: Though Prinz Eugen escaped, Bismarck was later defeated and sunk with a heavy loss of life. No convoys were lost to either ship.


Only three of 1,418 crew survived the sinking.

Lieutenant Ted Briggs, MBE (1923-2008)

Lieutenant-Commander William Dundas (1923 - 1965)

Robert Ernest Tilburn (1921-1995)



  • Sir Roger B. Keyes, KCB, KCVO, CMG 18 May 1920 - 31 Mar 1921
  • Sir Walter H. Cowan, DSO 31 Mar 1921 - 15 May 1923
  • Sir Frederick L. Field 15 May 1923 - 30 Apr 1925
  • Cyril T.M. Fuller, CB, CMG, DSO 30 Apr 1925 - 21 May 1927
  • Sir Frederic C. Dreyer, CB, CBE 21 May 1927 - 01 May 1929

Hood was decommissioned from May 1929 to May 1931 while undergoing a large refit in Portsmouth. Command of the Battle Cruiser Squadron was transferred during this time period.

  • Wilfred Tomkinson, CB, MVO 24 Apr1931 - 15 Aug 1932
  • Sir William M. James, CB 15 Aug 1932 - 14 Aug 1934
  • Sir Sidney R. Bailey, CB, CBE, DSO 14 Aug 1934 - 22 Jul 1936
  • Sir Geoffrey Blake, CB, DSO 22 Jul 1936 - 03 Jul 1937
  • Sir Andrew B. Cunningham, CB, DSO 03 Jul 1937 - 23 Jul 1938
  • Geoffrey Layton, CB, DSO 23 Jul 1938 - 01 June 1939
  • William J. Whitworth, CB, DSO 01 Jun 1939 - 11 Mar 1940
  • Sir James Somerville, KCB, DSO 30 Jun - 10 Aug 1940
  • William J. Whitworth, CB, DSO 10 Aug 1940 - 08 May 1941
  • Lancelot E. Holland, CB 12 - 24 May 1941


  • Wilfred Tomkinson, CB, MVO 01 Jan 1920 - 31 Mar 1921
  • Geoffrey Mackworth, CMG, DSO 31 Mar 1921 - 15 May 1923
  • John K. Im Thurn, CMG, CBE 15 May 1923 - 30 Apr 1925
  • Harold O. Reinold, CVO 30 Apr 1925 - 21 May 1927
  • Wilfred F. French, CMG 21 May 1927 - 01 May 1929

Hood was decommissioned from May 1929 to May 1931 while undergoing a large refit in Portsmouth. During this time, the ship was administered by five officers-in-charge.

  • Phipps-Hornby May 1929 - Apr 1930
  • Lt. A.M. Mallett Apr - Sep 1930
  • Lt. J Blake Oct 1930
  • Lt.Cdr. E.W.L. Cook Nov 1930 - Feb 1931
  • Capt BG Washington CMG, DSO Mar - Apr 1931
  • Julian F.C. Patterson, OBE 27 Apr 1931 - 15 Aug 1932
  • Thomas H. Binney 15 Aug 1932 - 30 Aug 1933
  • Francis T.B. Tower, OBE 30 Aug 1933 - Late 1935
  • Arthur F. Pridham 01 Feb 1936 - 20 May 1938
  • Harold T.C. Walker 20 May 1938 - 30 Jan 1939

Hood underwent a refit from January to August 1939. During a portion of this time period, the ship was under temporary command.

  • Commander William W. Davis 30 Jan - 03 May 1939
  • Irvine G. Glennie 03 May 1939 - 15 Feb 1941
  • Ralph Kerr, CBE 15 Feb - 24 May 1941

References, Sources and Further Reading


H.M.S. Hood Association // WIKI H.M.S. Hood Information shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License - see Creative Commons Licenses

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Full lists with information on each person can be found at H.M.S. Hood - Crew-list


  • NAAFI - Navy Army & Air Force Institute (7)
  • RANVR - Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve (4)
  • RCN - Royal Canadian Navy (3)
  • RIN - Royal Indian Navy (1)
  • RM - Royal Marines
  • RMB - Royal Marine Band (16)
  • RN - Royal Navy
  • RNR - Royal Naval Reserve (12)
  • RNSR - Royal Naval Special Reserve (1)
  • RNVR - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (30)
  • RNV(W)R - Royal Naval Volunteer (Wireless) Reserve (1)
  • RNZN - Royal New Zealand Navy (1)
  • PN - Polish Navy (4)


  • Nigel N Adams Midshipman, RNR
  • James Edward Annis (1920-1941) Rank: Stoker 1st Class
  • C D Awdry, Lieutenant-Commander, RN


  • Anthony R T Batley Lieutenant-Commander, RNVR
  • Thomas N K Beard Midshipman, RCN
  • Ted Briggs (1923 - 2008) Ordinary Signalman (survived)
  • Robert H P Browne Lieutenant (S), RN
  • John G P Brownrigg Lieutenant-Commander, RN
  • Denis M Bryant Midshipman, RN
  • Philip J Buckett Midshipman, RNVR


  • John H Cambridge Sub-Lieutenant (E), RNVR
  • George V Carlin Lieutenant-Commander (S), RNVR
  • Thomas Desmoind Cartwright Captain
  • John P Collings Midshipman (S), RN
  • William K R Cross Commander, RN
  • Stanislaw Czerny, Midshipman, PN - Polish Navy, living in exile in the United Kingdom. Born 23 Oct 1919 in Teplikow, Lublin Province, Poland.


  • Richard H Dale Lieutenant (E), RN
  • Hamilton K Davies, Midshipman, RNVR
  • Horace D Davies Lieutenant, RM
  • Christopher H C Dent (1913-1941) Surgeon Lieutenant, RNVR
  • John R Down Sub-Lieutenant, RNVR
  • William Dundas (1923 - 1965) Midshipman (survived)


  • George R Eagles Midshipman, RN
  • John G M Erskine Lieutenant-Commander (E), RN


  • James O Fielding Surgeon Lieutenant, RN
  • Douglas C Ford Midshipman, RNR
  • Mark H P Freeman Midshipman, RNR
  • Leslie E Friend Lieutenant, RNVR
  • Neville H Frodsham Sub Lieutenant, RN


  • John R Graves Lieutenant (S), RNVR
  • Edward H G Gregson Commander, RN
  • Robert T Grogan Commander (E), RN


  • John W Hall Lieutenant-Commander, RN
  • Hamilton K Davies, Midshipman, RNVR
  • Desmond S R Harris Lieutenant, RM
  • Sidney Jasper Herbert (1894-1941) Captain
  • Richard A Hibbs Midshipman, RNVR
  • Norris H Hoare Lieutenant (S), RNVR
  • Jack Hogan (1907-1941) Commander
  • Lancelot Holland (1887-1941) Vice Admiral
  • Michael S T Humphrey Lieutenant (E), RN
  • Henry Hurst Commander Surgeon, RN




  • Ralph Kerr (1891-1941) Captain
  • Roy F Knight Midshipman, RNR


  • Peter R Lapthorn Midshipman, RNVR
  • George C Lewington (1914-1941) Yeoman of Signals
  • Edward P S Lewis Lieutenant, RN
  • Thomas G P Luxmoore Lieutenant (S), RN


  • John L Machin Lieutenant-Commander, RN
  • John B McLaren Midshipman, RNR
  • Edward H F Moultrie Lieutenant-Commander, RN


  • Ronald Wallis Neal (1918-1941) Able Seaman
  • Cedric B N Newey Lieutenant, RNVR
  • Christopher J B Norman Midshipman, RCN
  • Thomas F Norris Stoker 2nd Class, RN


  • George E M Owens Lieutenant-Commander, RN


  • Anthony Pares Lieutenant-Commander, RN
  • Albert Henry Parratt (1901-1941) Stoker 1st Class
  • John E C Peacock (1911-1941) Surgeon Lieutenant (D), RN
  • Roland G C Perman Midshipman, RIN
  • Ronald G Phillips Paymaster Lieutenant (S), RN
  • Frederick A P Porter-Fausset Lieutenant (S), RN



  • Bryan C J Roach Lieutenant (E) RN
  • Anthony C R Robins Sub-Lieutenant, RNR
  • Donovan C Roe Commander (S) RN


  • John H A Scott-Kerr Sub-Lieutenant, RN
  • Harold G E Smith Lieutenant (E), RN
  • Tristram F Spence Lieutenant (E), RN
  • Douglas M Steel Commander (Instructor), RN
  • Basil P Stevenson Midshipman, RNR
  • Edward "Eddie" James Strange (1914-1941) Stoker, 1st Class
  • Charles F B Stubbs Lieutenant, RNVR
  • Kasimierz Szymalski Midshipman, PN - Polish Navy, living in exile in the United Kingdom. Born 20 Jan 1920 in Warszawa, Poland.




  • Geoffrey D B Vacher Midshipman (S), RN



  • Kazimierz O Zurek Midshipman, Polish Navy (living in exile in the UK. Born 18 Nov 1918 in Radziewe, Plock District, Poland)

Others who had served on HMS Hood

The following people also served on HMS Hood but were not onboard on 24th May 1941

// this project is in History Link