Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Updated 26-Mar-2014

Listed here are some of the more common questions our staff are asked:

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The Ship
Who was H.M.S. Hood named after?
Has anyone found and explored the wreck of H.M.S. Hood?
Where can I get information on the final refit H.M.S. Hood was to have?
Do you sell photos or plans of H.M.S. Hood?
How can I access H.M.S. Hood's official records myself?

The Crew
I know a H.M.S. Hood survivor who isn't listed on your web site. Why?
How can I contact the three survivors of H.M.S. Hood's sinking?
I have a relative, acquaintance or am otherwise interested in someone who (may have) served in H.M.S. Hood. How can I find out more about it?
I have seen conflicting casualty figures for the sinking of H.M.S. Hood. Exactly how many men actually died in the sinking?
Why is my relative who died in the sinking of H.M.S. Hood not in your Roll of Honour and memorials?
Is it true/did you know that Doctor Who was a member of H.M.S. Hood's crew?

Miscellaneous
Can I join the H.M.S. Hood Association?
I submitted information/photos to your site, but it has not been posted yet. Why?
May I use photos and information from your site on my own web site?
Can your web site recommend books about H.M.S. Hood?
What colour should I paint my model/miniature of H.M.S. Hood?
What does Hood's badge and motto "Ventis Secundis" mean?

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Who was H.M.S. Hood Named After?

The battle cruiser Hood was not named after Robin Hood, John Bell Hood nor Darla Hood. Contrary to some claims, she was also not named after Sir Arthur Hood of Avalon or Sir Horace Hood. She was in fact named after First Viscount Samuel Hood. Click here to read more about this.

 


 

Has anyone found and explored the wreck of H.M.S. Hood?

Hood was found and explored in late July 2001 by a Channel 4 expedition led by David L. Mearns. Click here for information on the wreck and the original expedition that found her. Updated coverage of a second expedition, undertaken in 2012 will be published here at a later date.

 


 

Where can I get information on the final refit H.M.S. Hood was to have?

Preliminary plans to modernise Hood were drawn up in the late 1930s. Things never progressed beyond this point for a variety of pressing reasons. For more information (to include hypothetical illustrations & photos), please read our article, Hood's Proposed 1942 Refit.

 


 

How can I obtain high quality photos of H.M.S. Hood?

We do not sell photos or plans of Hood. We suggest you contact one of the following sources for high quality Hood photos and plans:


 

How can I access H.M.S. Hood's official records myself?

There are many official documents relating to Hood still in existence. Most are held at The National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office) at Kew, London. All are original documents and are available for inspection by anyone who wants to view them. We used these very documents in the construction of this site.

If you want to view these documents at The National Archives, please refer in the first instance to their web site at www.pro.gov.uk. This will tell you everything you need to know about obtaining a readers ticket, arranging a visit and ordering documents so that they are available when you arrive. For more information, you can also consult the The National Archives' online A-Z Index of Leaflets.

Additionally, the original plans as well as Hood's "cover" (detailed technical documentation) is available at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

 


 

I know a H.M.S. Hood survivor who isn't listed on your web site. Why?

Many men served in Hood- some of them were transferred as late as the very evening she sailed to meet Bismarck. It is possible that some of these men considered themselves "survivors", but this is technically not true. As we see it, for one to be a true "survivor" a man first must have been onboard the ship when it sank and second must have been rescued alive after the sinking.

In the case of H.M.S. Hood, of the 1,418 men aboard that day, ONLY THREE were pulled from the water alive: Midshipman William Dundas, Able Seaman Bob Tilburn and Ordinary Signalman Ted Briggs. There were absolutely no other survivors ever picked up. Anyone (other than those three) who claimed or claims to have been rescued from the water is either confused or not telling the truth.

 


 

How can I contact the three survivors of H.M.S. Hood's sinking?

You can't. Sadly, all three of the survivors have passed away. Furthermore, their families have no wish to disturbed. Therefore, please do not ask us to help facilitate contacts with the families and do not contact them directly yourself. If you wish to learn more about the survivors simply read their biographies on this web site. You can learn more about their actions during the loss of Hood in our Battle of the Denmark Strait Documentation Resource. If you want memorabilia associated with a survivor (i.e., photos, autographs, etc.), please seek out a reputable militaria dealer or an auction service such as Ebay.

 


 

I have a relative, acquaintance or am otherwise interested in someone who (may have) served in H.M.S. Hood. How can I find out more about this?

First, check our Crew Lists. If you do not see him listed there, then we do not have any information. In this case, you can then take steps to obtain his naval service records. The information received will depend on your relation to the individual and the timeframe concerned. Please note that these instructions will actually work for any ship, not just those who served in Hood. Click here for our guidelines on How to Confirm Someone's Service in H.M.S. Hood

 


 

I have seen conflicting casualty figures for the sinking of H.M.S. Hood. Exactly how many men actually died in the sinking?

There have indeed been different casualty figures published since the sinking of Hood. In the months immediately after the sinking, the total was believed to be in the range of 1,425 or higher. As time passed, this figure was revised downward (after it had been learned that some men thought to have been dead were actually deserters or in hospital). After the war, the official number was revised down to 1,418 and later to 1,416.

Over the years, both figures found their way into various books and publications. Even when the official number was modified to 1,416, the higher figure of 1,418 persisted. Even former crew believed this to be the correct figure. Over time, it grew to be accepted by many even though it was incorrect.

In recent years (mid 1980s onward) new research has indicated that neither 1,416 or 1,418 are correct figures. The actual verified number of men lost in the sinking is 1,415. This revision came about when it was realised that one of the H.M.S. Prince of Wales crewmen lost on 24 May 1941 was accidentally included in the Hood list from time to time (thus the erroneous figure of 1,416). So, regardless of what you read or who says otherwise, the actual number of men lost in the sinking was 1,415.

 


 

Why is my relative who died in the sinking of H.M.S. Hood NOT in your Roll of Honour or memorials?

If his name is not in our Roll of Honour or individual memorials because your loved one or friend did NOT die in the sinking of Hood. You see, our Roll of Honour has been exactingly researched and cross-referenced. It is the most accurate list there is: ALL men (all ranks, aliases, and nationalities) are accounted for. We cannot emphasize this enough.

It is VERY common in family lore for such mistakes to be made - more common than you might think. We have seen literally dozens upon dozens of cases. Most often, it is simply a case of an unclear memory or of a mistake that has been passed down through the generations. A loved one was indeed lost at sea, but the name of the actual ship has been forgotten and the name of Hood somehow put in its place. There are also cases where the men may have once served aboard Hood, but were transferred and later lost aboard other vessels. For some reason, the name "Hood" is the one that seems to stick-out.

Again, if you do not see a name listed in our Memorials/Roll of Honour, it is because that person did not die in the sinking of Hood. To find out where your loved one/friend was actually lost, please visit the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's web site and search their excellent Debt of Honour Register.

 


 

Is it true/did you know that Doctor Who was a member of H.M.S. Hood's crew?

Yes, this is true. Jon Pertwee, one of the actors who portrayed the character "The Doctor" (specifically the Third Doctor) in the long running television programme "Doctor Who" served aboard Hood as a rating from late early 1940 to Spring 1941. Click here to read more about his service.

 


 

Can I join the H.M.S. Hood Association?

Yes!  The Association welcomes all (regardless of race, religion, creed or country of origin) who are sincerely interested in Hood and her crew.  All we ask is that you either be a Hood veteran/family of a Hood veteran or otherwise someone who, though not specifically connected to Hood, has a genuine desire to join with others in keeping the memory of Hood and her men alive. In short, if you honour Hood and her crew, you are welcome. Click here for details on how to join

 


 

I submitted information to your site, but it has not been posted yet. Why?

If this has happened, there are three possible reasons:

1. Software/systems error: If you did NOT hear back from us, there is a good chance that it simply never reached us. You see, we do our best to always respond to such contacts. Admittedly, it could take up to a couple of weeks (depending on our workload it can sometimes be longer...we tend to post a notice on our homepage in such cases), but we do respond when the situation is warranted or specifically requested. If several months have passed and you never received any sort of response, chances are we never received anything from you in the first place. Even in this day of electronic marvels, things can and do get lost sometimes.

2. Human error: If you DID hear back from us, and time has passed but the information is still not on the site, it is because we are human. The web site is run on a volunteer basis. Even then, there are just two routine/regular web site personnel on our team. Although we are both deeply committed to the preservation of the memories of Hood and crew, it must be understood that we do have other, personal commitments to our regular jobs and most importantly of all, our families. This can be further compounded when we receive greater than normal amounts of e-mail and materials. Rest assured we will process everything, but it may take a while. Feel free to enquire further if you feel an inordinate amount of time has passed (see Note below for exceptions).

3. Nonsensical or unreliable information: To be perfectly honest, sometimes we receive requests for information that could have easily been answered just by checking our web site or posting to our Facebook page. We also receive "odd" emails from time-to-time...things that frankly either have no supporting documentation or otherwise make no sense. Due to limitations outlined above, we regrettably don't always have time to deal with such requests. Sometimes, albeit rarely, these requests are deliberately dropped.

Of course, if you'd like to volunteer to help us with various aspects of the web site, that would be most welcome! It would certainly help improve the information flow onto the web site.

 


 

May I use photos or information from your site on my own web site?

Not without explicit permission from our webmaster and any applicable copyright holders. Be sure to consult our Legal Notices and Disclaimers page for details and specifics. When using one of our photos, you also must not crop any annotations from said photos.

 


 

Can your web site recommend books about H.M.S. Hood?

We can indeed. There are a number of books about Hood in print at any one time. You can generally find older, out of print books as well. For a comprehensive listing of books concerning Hood, please visit the Written References- Books & Magazines section of the web site.

 


 

What colour should I paint my model/miniature of H.M.S. Hood?

It all depends on what timeframe, year or event you wish your model to portray. Whatever you do, we ask that you ignore the painting instructions that came with your model. We've yet to see any that are completely accurate. We highly recommend you follow the guidance our own article, Paint Schemes of H.M.S. Hood, 1920-1941 instead. Of course, its your model, so you can paint it whatever colour(s) you wish! If you want it to be correct however, we recommend you consult our article.

 

What does Hood's badge and motto "Ventis Secundis" mean?

1. The badge is reportedly based on the arms for Lord Samuel Hood. It features a Cornish Chough proper holding a gold anchor bend sinister in its dexter foot, over an azure (blue) field. Beneath the bird and anchor is the figure "1859". The sealed pattern for the badge, shown below, was officially approved on 06 September 1919. It was used both with and without the "1859" figure (e.g., the brass gun tampions did not have the figure, but stationary frequently did).

The Cornish Chough is an endangered member of the crow family. In heraldry it is most commonly associated with Cornwall (which is where 1st Lord Hood was from). The anchor symbolises both hope and naval service.

2. "Ventis Secundis" is Latin for "With the Winds Favourable." It is more commonly stated as "With Favourable Winds." These words were supposedly spoken by Lord Samuel Hood (at that time an Admiral) during the battle of Martinique- he was ordered to take station down wind of the French and expressed (in Latin) his wish for favourable winds to accomplish the task quickly.

Wall mounted badge aboard Hood in Admirals entrance  H.M.S. Hood Sealed Badge Pattern  15 inch tampion aboard Hood, mid 1930s
Above/Left- A bulkhead mounted badge located in the starboard aft screen entrance during the mid 1930s; Above/Centre- Hood's Official Admiralty Sealed Pattern; Above/Right- One of Hood's 15" gun barrel tampions in the mid 1930s