-H.M.S. Hood Crew Information-
The Memories of Reg Bragg
by Reg Bragg (1976)
Updated 06-May-2014

Reg lived in Plumstead, South Africa and was amongst the early Association members who sent in his story to Fred White. Here's what he wrote in Newsletter Number 4.

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Memories of the HOOD as told by R.G. Bragg of Capetown, South Africa.
I joined H.M.S. HOOD during her first commission on 23rd May 1922. My brother was already on her, but left later. I shall never forget, when I sat between the two 15" guns in "A" turret and heard the first salvo go off. I thought the end of the world had come, however, an old Petty Officer, the Captain of the Turret, comforted me. I think his name was Petty Officer Derrick.

After the Summer cruise doing all sorts of exercises under Admiral Sir Frederick Field we left U.K. for the Brazilian Centenary celebrations. Almost every Navy in the world was represented. When Hood and Repulse were on their way from Gibraltar to Rio de Janeiro one of the boys of the Hood was found to be missing; after several thorough searches of the ship without result, a Court of Inquiry was held and a verdict of "lost at sea" was returned. On Hood's return trip she stopped over the presumed spot where he was lost, a memorial service was held, volleys fired, and wreaths dropped in the water.

A few years later, my brother, who had previously left the Hood, went into a pub in Sydney, Australia, and could hardly believe his eyes when he beheld the missing boy. When he greeted him by name, he was told to keep quiet. The story came out that he had jumped ship at Gibraltar, and his brother on a merchant stowed him away to Sydney where he joined the Australian Navy and lived happy ever after.

After recommissioning in 1923, Hood paid a visit to Norway and Denmark and later in the year left U.K. on a world cruise.

Arriving at Capetown my pal and I went ashore and met two young girls who took us "up homers" and we had a most enjoyable stay. On leaving we were presented with a large box of peaches each. Mine lasted for weeks. I wrote to my girl friend for several years but eventually stopped writing, and so did she.

Twenty years later I joined H.M.S. Newcastle and again visited Capetown. On night leave I went into the "Del Monico", a place well known to sailors, and as I was crossing the floor my present wife was sitting with a Petty Officer Maddocks and he said, "There goes old Reg Bragg", and she said "I know a Reg Bragg; he was on the Hood", and we were introduced and I told her where she lived.

Almost a year later we met again when Newcastle had to spend six months at Simonstown and that was that. We have now been married 32 years. We were both divorced (innocent parties). My first marriage - my wife's father kept the Portland Roads Hotel and we lived at 2 Johnson Row, Weymouth, and I used to go to the Black Dog and the Cutter Hotels.