The H.M.S. Hood Association Online Archive
"Newsheet 5 " (Fifth Association Newsletter)
Updated 06-May-2014

The fifth H.M.S. Hood Association newsletter (1977).

Chainbar divider

Dear Shipmates,

Thus we find ourselves at the end of our second year as an association; with life there is always good and sad news; little alteration has been done with the letters in this newsheet. The heart speaks for oneself, and no-one else can capture the sentiments expressed in the stories. We can, thankfully, envisage. Thank God for us being all Seamen of the seven seas - there is no greater freemasonry than that.

Our Lord and the Sailor we adore,
in times of danger, not before;
The danger past, both are requited,
God is forgotten, and the Sailor slighted.

From the County of Dorset, the home of the Admirals Hood and their present day descendants, I wish you all the world over a Happy New Year.

You will never enjoy the world aright,
til the sea, itself floweth in your veins,
til you are clothed with the heavens,
And crowned with the stars.

Joey the Kangaroo

I was fender boy of the 2nd Picket Boat and bowman later, and our Midshipman was the son of that famous actress Dame Sybyl Thorndyke, and he kept us well supplied with tins of Bluebell for polishing, and what a picture those boats were.

I remember when on a spring cruise we had aboard the Hood a Rolls Royce, a Race Horse, a Donkey, a pair of Flamingoes and a baby Seal, and there was also a stuffed Kangaroo in a big glass case somewhere between decks.

When the Hood had returned from her world cruise she was presented with a Kangaroo which later in 1926 had to be sent to a Zoo, then Lady Hood hearing about it, presented a Bulldog pup as a new mascot to the Hood. The Chief Buffer looked after him.

I also remember once when we were preparing to go to sea from Plymouth, cars and all sorts of things being hoisted aboard but one thing in particular was a Combination Motor Bike and side car, arrived just as it was being swung onboard along came the Commander, Arthur John Power - a marvellous man - and every inch of him a Naval Officer. As soon as he saw the Combination he shouted orders of "What the hell is that? Take it off my ship", so it was landed back on the Dockside. This Combination belonged to a Commissioned Gunner whose nickname was Clickity Click

As soon as the coast was clear Clickity Click started up the bike and ran it over the Dockside and many years later a Plymouth Newspaper reported that a Motor Cycle Combination had been picked up with some ships wires, when tying up alongside.

I have in my house a glass-fronted case that at one time hung on the bulkhead of the Chief Petty Officers Mess and was presented to the Mess when the Hood visited Canada on the World cruise. The tea-set and tea-pot which were in it have long since gone. Now how I came to have this case.

The Hood paid off and most of the ships company went to the Tiger and the case went with them and was mounted on the bulkhead of the Chiefs Mess. Then came the time for the Tiger to pay off and in the Chiefs Mess was a squabble as to who was to have the case, and it was decided by the President and Vice President of the Mess that it should go to the youngest married man in the Mess and I was then the youngest and the junior Messman of the Mess - the other being a three badge A.B. The two Chiefs I well remember - one was Chief Gunners Mate Bert Mitchele who was known by thousands as the "Spirit of the Bayonet". The other was Chief E.R.A. Joint who was to me a gentleman of the highest degree, and was a Weymouth man.

A. Thomas,
Glamorgan, S.Wales.

I was serving in the 3rd Battle Squadron, 'Flag Iron Duke, Marborough, Emperor of India and Benbow in the Med. on arrival back at Portland in time for the autumn cruise in 1926 - I was drafted to the Hood. This was known as the gunnery cruise.

The Battle Cruiser Squadron Flag Hood Vice Admiral Dreyer, Captain French and Commander Arthur John Power later to become famous in Ark Royal.

Repulse, Renown and the Tiger flying flag of Flag Officer, Portland.

She was a local stantion and did her gunnery etc. with us. We did a full power trial in the North Sea about 33 knots. We had Admiral the Earl of Jellicoe with us to see this rather spectacular Prince of Wales Feathers effect up through the 3 hawse pipes. He was tickled pink. He had been used to 20 knots or so. I stood with him on the Flag Deck - I was a Communications Rating. Our siren jambed open and filled the North Sea with noise and it took the Engineers ages to fix it - you can imagine the panic. A prolonged blast means, "I am in distress" and our Fleet all round us in very ponderous numbers - can you imagine it? Then the bearings ran hot and we lost speed to a point where we only just about had steerage way, but we made Invergordon O.K.

Harry Smith,

I joined Hood in time to do the ten months showing the flag around the world and left her in 1929.

During the 1926 General Strike we were recalled from leave to rejoin the Hood at Guz, and we sailed at midnight. We were then on strike duty at the Princess Docks, Glasgow - the Hood lay at the Tail of the Bank and we went up to the docks in a drifter. Golly what a time we had.

After the Strike we went to Pompey for the first time and whilst at Pompey I met my wife, who came aboard as a visitor, and in 1930 we were married. The end came on September 2nd, 1974, when she died of cancer, and now you can see I am a very lonely man on my own, and pray every night that I shall not wake up in the morning.

I am 77 years old and will not be able to attend the reunion - my last operation when I was opened up the Surgeon found something else and so you will understand I have not much longer to live. I am nearly blind with cataracts as well.

But I still have wonderful memories of my late wife and "my other love, H.M.S. Hood.

L. Hudson,
"The Hood",
Station Road, Polesworth,
Nr Tamworth.

I am preparing a complete list of members. Those who would like a list would they send a stamped 9" x 6" envelope. A lot of members have not paid their Membership Fees. Would they please put this right as it's only £2.00 for life.

My sincere thanks to Members who have sent me lovely Xmas Cards. The numbers are too great for me to answer all of them.

In the meantime may you all be blessed with Ventis Secundis.


Note from Editor: These particular articles are also in the "Remembering Hood" area of the site.