-History of H.M.S. Hood-
Ancestors & Other Ships Named "HOOD"
Updated 04-Mar-2018

Battle cruiser Hood was one of five ships known to bear this noble British seafaring name.  These vessels were named in honour of key members of the Hood family, a lineage that has produced some of the greatest fighting men to serve in the Royal Navy.  This article contains a brief summary of each ship's career.

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H.M.S. Lord Hood (1797-1798)
The first Hood was named in honour of 1st Viscount Hood of Whitley, Lord Samuel Hood. She was hired just two years after he hauled down his flag, and while he was still alive. Little is known of this ship other than that she was a 361 ton hired vessel of 14 guns, and was commissioned on 3 May 1797. She was employed on convoy duties in the North Sea under the command of Commander John Larmour. She was decommissioned and returned to her owners in December, 1798.

H.M.S. Hood (1859-1888)
The second ship of the name was also named in honour of 1st Viscount Hood. She was laid down on 13 August 1849. As conceived, she was to be a 2nd Rate sailing ship of 80 guns. Circumstances changed however, and the construction was delayed. Her hull was lengthened and design altered to accommodate steam propulsion while still on the stocks.

She was ultimately completed as a screw line-of-battle ship of 91 guns and a crew of 720 men. She was 198 feet long, 56 feet wide, displaced 3,308 tons and had a draught of 18 feet. Her propulsion plant could manage 600 horsepower. She was launched as H.M.S. "Edgar" on 4 May 1859. Her name was changed to Hood in January 1860.

Due to design deficiencies, the ship was to lead a lacklustre life. She appears to have never been fully commissioned and instead passed directly into the Second Reserve at Sheerness. Her most notable "service" came in 1872, when the War Office took her as a barracks for the Royal Engineers (harbour defence miners) at Chatham. She served in this capacity until 1883. She was sold out of the navy in 1888 and her subsequent fate is currently unknown.

This ship is possibly depicted in the official seal for the USA's state of Oregon.

Pre-Dreadnought H.M.S. Hood (1891-1914)
The next Hood was named in honour of Lord Arthur Hood of Avalon (First Sea Lord from 1885-1889). She was was a variant of the Royal Sovereign class twin screw battleships laid down under the Naval Defence Act of 1889. She was 380 feet long, 75 feet wide, had a displacement of 14,150 tons and a draught of 27 feet. She featured a 9,000 horsepower propulsion system which enabled her to reach speeds of 17½ knots.

She was launched on 30 July 1891 and was completed over the next two years. She was fully commissioned on 1 June 1893. She was immediately assigned to the Mediterranean Station. Here she led a largely uneventful career with the sole exception being her participation in the actions at Crete in 1896. She remained in the Mediterranean until roughly 1902, when she was grounded and sustained serious rudder damage (requiring her to return to England for repairs). She joined the Home Fleet shortly thereafter.

Hood remained with the Home Fleet until 1905, when she was placed in the Reserve Fleet at Devonport. In July 1910, she moved to Queenstown, Ireland where she served as the receiving ship and flagship of the Senior Officer, Coast of Ireland. She served in this role until January 1913, when she was transferred to Portsmouth. There she briefly served as a receiving ship. The ship was placed on the sale list in January 1914, but was instead used as a test bed for newly developed "anti-submarine bulges." As the bulges were deemed successful, they were incorporated into a number of future warships.

In 1914, the First World War commenced. Late in that year, Hood was sunk as a block ship to fill a hole in the Portland Harbour breakwater. Her hulk was to serve as a barrier to prevent German U-boats from firing torpedoes into the harbour. There she was remained until this day. She has remained a popular site for divers over the years, though this may be changing due to the state of the wreck. The bell of this Hood was given to the Hood family who in turn gifted it to the battle cruiser. That bell was retrieved from the battle cruiser's wreck site in 2015.

Commanding Officers of the Pre-Dreadnought H.M.S. Hood
01 June 1893 - Captain Edmund F. Jeffreys, (Mediterranean).
10 October 1895 - Captain Charles C. Drury, (Mediterranean).
29 September 1897 - Captain Arthur C.B. Bromley (Mediterranean).
09 December 1898 - Captain Alvin C. Correy, (Mediterranean).
04 September 1900 - Captain John E. Blaxland (Mediterranean).
19 April 1902 - Captain Robert S. Lowry, (Home Fleet).
25 June 1903 - Captain William Stokers Rees, (Home Fleet).
20 February 1904 - Captain Hugh P. Williams (Home Fleet).
03 January 1905 - Captain Francis C. M. Noel, (In Reserve, Devonport).
01 June 1907 - Commander Lawrence de W. Satow (Home Fleet, Devonport).
22 October 1909 - Captain Thomas L. Shelford, (Home Fleet, Devonport).
14 July 1910 - Commander Arthur T. Taylor, (Flagship and Receiving Ship at Queenstown of Rear-Admiral Sir Alfred, W. Apget, K.C.M.G., Senior Officer, Coast of Ireland).
01 September 1910 - Commander John C.T. Glossop. (Rear-Admiral Sir Charles H. Coke, K.C.V.O. succeeded Rear-Admiral Paget on 18 April 1911).
25 July 1911 - Commander Robert W. Myburgh, (Rear-Admiral Sir C.H. Coke, K.C.V.O.)

To learn more about this ship, visit Pre-Dreadnought Preservation The H.M.S. Hood.

Battle Cruiser H.M.S. Hood (1920-1941)
The third and most famous ship to bear the name, the legendary battle cruiser Hood, appeared just a few years later.  Like the first two ships to bear the name, she too was officially named in honour of 1st Viscount Hood (unofficially for Sir Horace Hood or all the naval Hoods). She was the only Hood, however, to bear the famous badge depicting the Cornish chough and anchor though. She used the bell from her predecessor, the pre-dreadnought Hood.

The "Mighty Hood", as she was known, was built by John Brown & Company Shipyards, Clydebank, Scotland.  During her 21 year long career, she, more than any other ship, would stand as the ultimate symbol of the Empire’s might.  Of all the vessels to bear the name, she was the most important, most memorable and most loved. You can learn all about her crew, career and technical specifications on this very website.

S.D/T. Lord Hood LT215 & LT20 (1939-1946)
Lord Hood was another vessel named in for 1st Viscount Hood. She was a 85 ft long, 18.6 ft wide, 92 gross tonnage drifter launched in 1925 by Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby. The vessel entered service that same year as Lord Hood LT215 with Lowestoft Steam Herring Drifters Ltd, Selby.

The ship was requisitioned for war duties (under the command of James William Lawn, RNR) in November 1939. She was damaged at Dunkirk in 1940 (suffering one death in the process) but was later repaired at Ramsgate and returned to service. Her civilian ownership changed during the war and she was returned to her new owners in August 1945. The ship was leased to Poland in 1946 and registered as GDY108, Antoniusz.

The ship was sold again in 1949 and returned to service in the UK as Lord Hood LT20. She served as a UK-based trawler for the remainder of her career. During this time period, she won the Prunier Trophy once (for hauling herring). She changed hands numerous times during the 1950s and was eventually sold as a salvage vessel in 1959. She was stripped of key fittings in 1960 and completely broken up in 1961.

Sources: "Warships of WW2" by HT Lenton and JJ Colledge; "The Bosun's Watch" website at http://www.fleetwood-trawlers.info/index.php/2009/01/sd-lord-hood-lt20/

Although not currently used by a warship, the name "Hood", does live on: The British and Canadian Sea Cadets both have units named after battle cruiser "Hood". The name also carries on in the form of another steel "giant" – a locomotive engine! Click here to learn about this beautiful Class 50 locomotive engine.