-H.M.S. Hood Crew Information-
H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour
Memorials to Men Lost in the Sinking of Hood, 24th May 1941
In Remembrance of
Lambert Charles Shepherd
Lambert Charles Shepherd was born on 28 February 1911 in Hale, Cheshire. He was the only son of Major Percy Shepherd and Mrs. Shepherd, Bangor, Northern Ireland. Known to close friends as "Bush", he was educated at Shrewsbury School. In 1929 he went up to Jesus College, Cambridge, as a Foundation Scholar graduating with First class Honours in Classics and English. He rowed in the College VIII which won the Ladies' Plate at Henley Royal Regatta in 1931. He was a member of Cambridge University Hawks Club and also president of the University Club known as 'The Roosters'. On leaving Cambridge in 1933 he took up appointment on the editorial staff of the Belfast News as reporter, art and dramatic critic and special writer. After some thirteen months he moved to Manchester to work for Allied Newspapers Limited as assistant publicity manager concerned with supervising the production of books, annuals, catalogues and so on published by them. He then moved to London to work on the staff of the Daily Mirror and then on the staff ofthe Evening Standard as sub-editor where he was working when war broke out in September 1939. Throughout his life he was keenly interested in literature and books in general and in the arts.
In June 1939 he married Iris Eunice Henry. Shortly before their first wedding anniversary he obtained 48 hours' leave from his office. It only became known on his return that he had readily risked his life as a civilian volunteer to help man the rowing boats off the beach at Dunkirk. So keen was he to join the Royal Navy that he then studied in his spare time and obtained his yachtmaster's certificate in three months. In October 1940 he volunteered for the Royal Navy and was called up for war service. He initially served in H.M.S Collingwood as an Ordinary Seaman (Official Number IX 223842) but joined H.M.S Hood in January 1941. In a letter to his wife shortly after, he described the Hood as 'an enormous ship; but thanks to knowing a bit about ships I did not have so much difficulty in finding my way about her at fust as did Gabbett and one or two of the others'.
While aboard the Hood he had applied to go before an Officers' Selection Board and so be sent to H.M.S. King Alfred. In a letter to a relative of his wife in March 1941 he wrote 'The present outlook is very disappointing. There does not appear to be the slightest prospect of even getting before a selection board in this ship before the end of June. I'm not superstitious; but I do seem to have had the most hopeless run of bad luck ever since first volunteering at the very beginning of the war. And I do feel that I am capable of being so much more useful to the country than I am at present - But there you are' . In his last extant letter, dated 3rd May 1941, he wrote to an R.N.V.R. officer (a friend who later married his widow) serving at the time in a destroyer 'As there is a prospect that, by the time this has reached you and you have had some of your exiguous spare time ..... to reply, I may be somewhere near the King Alfred. I am writing to ask you for some of the advice you so kindly offered in your last letter. Actually, you may be surprised to find me still in the mighty Hood; but, alack and alas, for reasons I can't explain on paper, my first eight weeks in this ship could not be counted towards the C.W.1 Candidates' three months and I do not come before a selection board in the ship till June 14, or thereabouts ..... '. The advice sought was "on how to go about securing the type of billet I want when I do eventually get my commission ........ .I've made up my mind that, if possible, I want to get command of a small ship of my own - trawler or M.L. or such - and, with my yachtmaster's ticket and the considerable amount of study I have since put in on top of that, I feel quite able for the job. At all events, I most emphatically want to avoid getting sent to another big ship. There is something soulless about the big cows.'
These hopes of serving his country further were tragically ended on 24 May 1941.He was 30 years old at the time of his loss.
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