-H.M.S. Hood Crew Information-
H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour
Memorials to Men Lost in the sinking

We will remember them
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In Remembrance of
James Leonard Pay

Photo of
Date of birth: 2nd June 1914
Place of birth: Hartlepool, County Durham, England
Parents: William and Alice Pay
Wife: Hannah Pay
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Able Seaman
Service Number: P/SSX 14275
Joined Hood: Unknown
Left Hood: 24th May 1941 (loss of ship)
Click here to print memorial poster

Biographical Information:

James Leonard Pay, who was know as "Lenny" to his family and shipmates was one of the 1,415 men who lost their lives on H.M.S. Hood when she was sunk on 24th May 1941 after engaging the German battleship Bismarck. He was 26 years old.

Lenny was born and lived at both Croft Terrace and Bedford Street in the Croft area of Hartlepool in County Durham. Before joing the Royal Navy he attended Anne Crooks School in Hartlepool where he was a very keen and talented artist. After leaving school he joined the Royal Navy like his older brother William.

Lenny was first of a family of 4, he had 2 brothers and 1 sister. Lennys parents were called William and Alice Pay. His brothers and sister were called William (Bill), Jack and Mary. Bill his older brother served in the Royal Navy from 1933 through out the war until being discharged in 1945. Both Bill and Lenny joined the Royal Navy after school during the depression because there were few jobs in Hartlepool, the means test was in operation and times were hard. So they joined the Royal Navy to ease the burden on their family.

Lenny served on HMS London before joining the pride of the Royal Navy H.M.S. Hood. Lenny also rowed for H.M.S. Hood and achieved first place in the 1937 gig race, where he was given a racing Skull from H.M.S. Hood engraved with ' H.M.S. Hood 1937 gig race 1st '. You can see the racing Skull in the photo to the below. Both Lenny and his older brother William enjoyed and were accomplished rowers. They would both regularly attend race meetings in Whitby and Scarborough before the War.

Lenny's sister Mary married Felix Rice who also served on H.M.S. Hood with Lenny but moved onto another ship before H.M.S. Hood was sunk. Lenny had another friend Mickey Stothers on H.M.S. Hood who was married to Jenny Gardener. Jenny Gardener was Lennys brother Bill's wife's cousin. Mickey (Hugh) was also lost on H.M.S. Hood when she sunk.

Lenny married his wife Hannah in September 1936 in Trinity Church, Hartlepool while serving on H.M.S. Hood. Lenny and Hannah had a daughter called Joan who was only 18 months old when H.M.S. Hood was sunk. Lenny's widow Hannah died in Hartlepool in 1972 and his daughter Joan still lives in Hartlepool to this day.

Additional Photos

A full portrait of Lenny

A racing skull won by Lenny in 1937

Lenny & Hannah's wedding day

Lenny while serving in Hood

Lenny and mates aboard Hood

More of Lenny & mates aboard Hood

Hood Chapel, Church of St. John the Baptist, Boldre, Hampshire, England

Photos of the memorial

Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Southsea, Hampshire, England

Photos of the memorial

The part of the memorial in which the Hood casualty names can be found.
(Panels 45 to 61)

James's name is in Column 1 of Panel 49.

Detail of James's name.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
'Register of Deaths of Naval Ratings' (data extracted by Director of Naval Personnel (Disclosure Cell), Navy Command HQ, 2009)
Lenny's daughter, Joan Sanders (information & photos, 2001)
Glen Hughes (information, 2001)