HMS Hood

WW2 Ship That Sank With Only Three Survivors Commemorated

HMS Hood

A photo of HMS Hood taken in 1924 (Picture: Allan C. Green/Adam Cuerden).

The centenary of the launch of one of Britain’s biggest warships is being celebrated with a ceremony at Clydebank.

HMS Hood, a Royal Navy battlecruiser, was first launched there 100 years ago, on 22 August 1918.

The so-called 'Mighty Hood' was the biggest British warship in existence until the commissioning of brand new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales. 

The battlecruiser was active during the Second World War, until it was sunk by the German battleship Bismarck in 1941.

Tragically, all but three of the 1,418-strong crew were lost.

HMS Hood was the last ship of her kind built for the Royal Navy.

Although similar to battleships, battlecruisers were capable of higher speeds - in HMS Hood’s case, 32 knots - due to the fact that they generally carried less armour.

HMS Hood Bell

Back in 2015, the bell from HMS hood was recovered from the seabed, fulfilling the final wish of Ted Briggs, one of the ship’s three survivors.

The bell has now been restored as a memorial for the lives lost when the Bismarck sunk the ship in the North Atlantic.

Rear Admiral Philip Wilcocks, president of the HMS Hood Association, told BBC Good Morning Scotland:

"Hood was the largest ship in the Royal Navy until our two new aircraft carriers.

"She was, in the inter-war years, the iconic figure for the Royal Navy, for the country, and in those days, for the Empire."

“In 1923 she went around the world with the Special Service Squadron," he said.

"She went to South Africa, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, back across the Pacific to the United States.

"At that stage she was one of the largest ships to go through the Panama Canal.

"She ended up in Canada and then came on back. She was nearly a year steaming around the world."

He added that HMS Hood’s sinking was one of the biggest tragedies of the war:

"It was the equivalent of three battalions of troops lost in three minutes.

"My uncle, my father's youngest brother, was killed on board.

"My grandmother was devastated by the loss but she was just one of the many who had to come to terms with the loss of so many people."

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