H.M.S. Hood Today
H.M.S. Hood's 5.5" Guns on Ascension Island
Updated 03-Nov-2014

The best known remnants of Hood are two 5.5" guns located on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. We'd like to thank Michael Farrow for the photos shown herein.

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Former Hood 5.5 Inch Guns on Ascension Island
Hood 5.5' Guns on Ascension Island
Hood was originally fitted with a secondary armament of 5.5" guns. These were eventually removed and replaced with twin 4" mounts. Most of the removed 5.5" guns were reutilised elsewhere. Most of the guns were used at coastal installations in southeastern England. Two of these (serial numbers 56 & 78, both removed in 1935 - per the 5.5in Gun List GL22, Priddy's Hard Archive, Hampshire Record Office) were sent to Ascension Island to aid in coastal defence.

The two guns were installed in early 1941 at Fort Bedford on Cross Hill overlooking Georgetown. The guns are believed to have seen service during the Second World War- in December 1941, they participated in a bombardment which helped to drive away German u-boat U-124. The guns remained in service until 1953.

The following 30 years saw the guns fall into an extreme state of disrepair. Their historical significance was not fully realised until the Falkland Islands War. It was at that time when visiting RAF servicemen realised what the guns were and undertook a detailed and thorough programme to restore the guns. Shortly thereafter, in 1984, the guns came under the care of the Ascension Island Historical Society. The society has done an excellent job in preserving and maintaining Fort Bedford to this very day.

 


Photos of the Guns (2014)
The following photos were sent to us by Michael Farrow. They may not be re-used without his express permission. Click the images to view larger versions.

Map of Georgetown, Ascension Island  Ascension Island Seen From Off Shore  Former Hood 5.5 Inch Gun 78
Above (L-R) - Map of Georgetown, the area seen from the sea and Gun 78. Below- Three views of Gun 56. Click to enlarge.
Former Hood 5.5 Inch Gun 56  ;The Rear of Gun 56  Gun 56 Bore