-H.M.S. Hood Crew Information-
Biography of Sir Arthur Francis Pridham, C.B., K.B.E.
Courtesy of Sarah Padwick
Updated 06-May-2014

Sir Arthur Francis Pridham was the ninth commanding officer of H.M.S. Hood. He was Flag Captain for VADM Sir Sidney Bailey, VADM Sir Geoffrey Blake and VADM Sir Andrew Cunningham. He served as Hood's captain during one of her busiest periods, the Spanish Civil War. This biography and the accompanying photos are courtesy of his granddaughter Sarah Padwick.

Chainbar divider

Captain AF Pridham, circa 1937Sir Arthur Francis (Toby) Pridham was born on 03 June 1886 in Honiton, Devon. He went to Honiton Grammar School (which became All Hallows School at Rousdon, Devon), then on to H.M.S. BRITANNIA as one of the last boy entries. In 1911, be married Miriam Vidal Lewis and had three daughters, Anne, Elisabeth and Joan.

He served in the following ships:

1901 - H.M.S. BRITANNIA

1902 - H.M.S. ISIS

1903 - H.M.S. JUPITER (His Midshipman's Journal was presented to a later H.M.S. JUPITER in 1975 after his death)

1905 - H.M.S. CAESAR

1906 - RNC GREENICH

? - H.M.S. MAGNIFICENT

1906 - Navigation School

1907 - H.M.S. EXCELLENT

1907 - H.M.S. NATAL

? - H.M.S. BERWICK

1910 - H.M.S. EXCELLENT

? - H.M.S. RACEHORSE

? - H.M.S. SWIFTSURE

1912 - ITP Staff

? - H.M.S. FORMIDABLE

? - H.M.S. IRRESISTIBLE

? - The Admiralty

1913 - H.M.S. EXCELLENT

1913 - H.M.S. WEYMOUTH (in 1915, taking part in the destruction of the German cruiser, Königsberg up the Rufigi River, East Africa)

1916 - H.M.S. SHANNON

1917 - H.M.S. MARLBOROUGH (as First Lieutenant, in 1919, he was appointed temporary ADC to the Dowager Empress Marie of Russia during the evacuation of the Russian Royal Family and entourage from Yalta and Novo-Rossisk and during their journey into exile in Europe) He was given the Order of St Stanislas by HM the Dowager Empress.

1920 - The Admiralty

1922 - H.M.S. MARLBOROUGH (as Commander)

1924 - The Admiralty (Plans)

1927 - The Imperial Defence College

1929 - H.M.S. CONCORD (it is believed that this ship saw duty in China and sailed up the Yangste River to Hancow)

? - H.M.S. CALLIOPE (in the Mediterranean)

1929 - H.M.S. CURLEW

1930 - The Admiralty

1933 - H.M.S. EXCELLENT in Command

1936 - H.M.S. HOOD, Flag Captain and CSO (during this time, the Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was taken on board when Italy invaded Ethiopia. The HOOD also saw duty off Spain during the Spanish Civil War).

1938 - Rear-Admiral, Assistant Controller

1939 - Flag Officer, H.M.S. HUMBER

1940 - Vice President of the Ordnance Board. Awarded CB.

1941 - Vice-Admiral. President of the Ordnance Board

1946 - Retired and was knighted KBE by King George VI. He was also a Commander of the United States Legion of Merit.

July 1937 wedding party aboard H.M.S. HoodHe wrote and had published a book covering the rescue of the Russian Royal Family entitled "The Close of a Dynasty". It included many historic photographs.

Whilst Commanding officer of H.M.S. HOOD in Malta, his eldest daughter, Anne, was married to Lieutenant-Commander James Graham (Nat) GOULD on 28 July 1937. Note: To view an enlarged image of the wedding party, please click on the photo to the right.

His wife, Miriam, as the last descendant of the Vidal family, launched the survey ship H.M.S. VlDAL on 31 July 1951.

He died aged 88 on 27 January 1975 and, that summer, was buried at sea off Portland from H.M.S. JUPITER with the ashes of his wife, Miriam, who pre-deceased him in 1969, in the presence of his grandson, Lt Commander David GOULD and his grandson-in-law, Lt Commander John DYKES, First Lieutenant of H.M.S. JUPITER at that time.