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Latest Updates (11-Aug-2015)

By the President H.M.S. HOOD Association
Hood CrewI am delighted to report that an operation to recover the bell of HMS HOOD from the debris field in the dark depths of the Denmark Strait was successfully completed on 8 August 2015. The Association is extremely grateful to David Mearns and the crew of MY OCTOPUS for their tremendous efforts and professionalism in recovering the bell. Paul Allen's personal support has been outstanding and we applaud his commitment to the recovery operation.

There is no headstone among the flowers for those that perish at sea. For the 1,415 officers and men of HMS HOOD who lost their lives on that fateful day in May 1941, the recovery of the ship's bell and its subsequent place of honour in the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth will mean that future generations will be able to gaze upon her bell and remember with gratitude and thanks the heroism, courage and personal sacrifice of HOOD's ships's company who died in the service of their country.

One of the last wishes of Ted Briggs before he died has now been fulfilled.

The First Sea Lord has commented that : ďA magnificent symbol of the power of the Royal Navy in the inter-war years, The Mighty Hood is one of the greatest fighting ships in our nationís long and glorious maritime history. That she was lost with her guns thundering in defence of the convoys that formed Britainís lifeline, is a tragic reminder of the high price that our island nation paid for survival, and for the freedom and prosperity we enjoy today. Her story, her sacrifice, continues to inspire the Royal Navy today. The recovery of the Shipís Bell will help ensure the 1,415 men lost, and the name Hood, will always be remembered by a grateful nation.Ē

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David Mearns has said that: “I am extremely pleased that we have been able to fulfil one of the last wishes of Ted Briggs, one of only 3 survivors of HOOD’s crew of 1,418 men, to recover the ship’s bell as a memorial to his shipmates. Despite 74 years of immersion in the hostile depths of Denmark Strait the bell is in very good condition. The inscriptions decorating its surface clearly indicate that the bell was preserved for use on the Battlecruiser HOOD after first being used as the bell of the Battleship HOOD from 1891 to 1914. This bell has therefore seen action in two Capital ships of the Royal Navy spanning a period of 50 years. An engraving on the bell also records the wishes of Lady Hood who launched the ship in memory of her late Husband Rear Admiral Sir Horace Hood KCB DSO MVO who was killed in the battle of Jutland. The bell we recovered is a unique historical artefact, which shows just how important HOOD was as flagship of the British Battlecruiser Squadron. This was clearly a special bell for a special ship and it will forever serve as a fitting memorial to the Mighty HOOD and a reminder of the service and sacrifice of her men.”

A White Ensign has been placed adjacent to the ship's bow on the seabed.

Rear Admiral Philip Wilcocks CB DSC DL President HMS HOOD ASSOCIATION

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1000/75 Memorial Appeal
We are seeking photos & information to use in our online memorials to the men who died in the sinking of Hood. Our goal is to have photos of 1000 men by the time of the 75th anniversary of Hood's sinking in May 2016. We currently only have photos of 893 out of 1415 lost. If you can contribute, please contact us.

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