-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
Archibald Henry Surrey

Photo of
Date of birth: 30th November 1907
Place of birth: Brighton, Sussex, England
Parents: William and Ellen Surrey
Wife: Dorothy Surrey
Previous occupation: Clerk
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Chief Petty Officer Writer
Service Number: P/MX 46363
Joined Hood First time: 11th December 1939 (Chief Petty Officer Writer)
Left Hood First time: 3rd March 1940 (Chief Petty Officer Writer)
Joined Hood Second time: 11th August 1940 (Chief Petty Officer Writer)
Left Hood Second time: 24th May 1941 (loss of ship) (Chief Petty Officer Writer)
Click here to print memorial poster

Biographical Information:

'Archie' Surrey, the second son of C.P.O. William Richard Surrey and Mrs Ellen Surrey, was born in Brighton on 30th November 1907. He attended Middle Street Boys' School, Brighton from April 1916 until December 1922. He then studied shorthand and typing at the Gregg School where he was most successful in gaining 2nd place in the Royal Society of Arts National Examination in July 1925 attaining a speed of 140 words per minute in shorthand.

He was employed as a general clerk to Van Der EB Limited, ship and insurance brokers of Fenchurch Street, London, from 7th Sept. 1925 until 9th Feb 1927. On the advice of his father who had served in the Royal Navy for 37 years, he took the Writers' examination at Portsmouth barracks in March 1927 and joined the Royal Navy as a Writer in June 1927. He was regarded as one of the best qualified shorthand typists in the Royal Navy and was detailed for special duties as a member of Vice Admiral Whitworth's clerical staff. In 1928 he was sent to Gibraltar to cover the Court Martial inquiry regarding the 'Royal Oak Incident'.

Archie served in H.M.S. London during its 1st Commission with the Mediterranean Fleet in the period 1929-1931. He continued to serve in H.M.S.London until 1933.

He was married in 1935 to Dorothy Izzard of Shoreham and in June 1936 they had twin boys Richard and Douglas. At this time, Archie's reputation as one of the best shorthand experts in the Royal Navy led to his being drafted to the staff of the Admiral Commanding Reserves (ACR). Whilst his draft appeared to be to the elderly vessel H.M.S. President, moored on the Thames, his family recalls that he worked in the Admiralty rather than in President itself. H.M.S. President was the 'accounting base' for uniformed personnel working in the Admiralty.

Archie's talents were not confined to his shorthand and clerical skills: he also wrote short stories. Here is one of them, entitled 'A Debt of Hate.'

Click here to access that short story by Archie.

At the outbreak of war, Archie was engaged at the Admiralty and was involved in the inquiry into the loss of the submarine H.M.S. Thetis. He served in H.M.S. Renown and was in Renown when it had the encounter with Scharnhorst near Narvik in 1940.

In August 2021 the MoD awarded him the Arctic Star, which he had earned thanks to his time in Renown when, in April 1940, it was involved in mine-laying operations off Bodo in Norway.

In addition to receiving numerous letters of appreciation for his professionalism and dedication from high ranking officials he was also mentioned in Despatches in the London Gazette in March 1941. Archie was was 33 years old at the time of his loss in May 1941.

In 2001 his sister Mrs Adelaide Jeffs left the Hood Association 5,000 pounds in memory of Archie.

History of ships served in and ratings held:

Date FromDate toShipRatingSource
7th June 192723rd April 1928Victory IIWriterADM362/48
24th April 192820th September 1929DolphinWriterADM362/48
21st September 192920th November 1929Egmont II - IWriterADM363/609
21st November 192930th April 1931LondonWriterADM363/609
1st May 193131st October 1933LondonLeading WriterADM363/609
1st November 193331st March 1935Victory IILeading WriterADM363/609
1st April 193515th September 1935Victory IIPetty Officer WriterADM363/609
16th September 193531st March 1938President (A.C.R's Office)Petty Officer WriterADM363/609
1st April 193810th December 1939President (A.C.R's Office)Chief Petty Officer WriterADM363/609
11th December 19393rd March 1940HoodChief Petty Officer WriterADM363/609
4th March 194010th August 1940RenownChief Petty Officer WriterADM363/609
11th August 194024th May 1941HoodChief Petty Officer WriterADM363/609

Additional Photos

Young Archie with his family. Back row, Archie, Billy, Monty. Front row: father William, sister Adelaide, mother Ellen.

Well equipped for the Writers' examination - the youthful Archie's civilian qualifications.

Archie Surrey learns that he has passed the examination to join the Royal Navy as a Writer.

A commendation which shows Writer Surrey making his mark, early, at the Royal Oak court martial in 1928. He had been in the RN barely ten months.

A newspaper illustration of the Royal Oak court martial at which Archie played a vital role.

Writer Surrey's meticulous work receives further praise from senior officers.

Further praise for Archie's work. It is now 1932 and he is already a Leading Writer.

Archie and Dorothy married in 1935, when he was a Petty Officer.

Now wearing the sleeve buttons of a Chief Petty Officer, Archie with his twin sons Dick (left) and Doug. Doug is a prominent member of HMS Hood Association.

C.P.O. Archibald Henry Surrey's medal award letter, dated some six weeks after his death.

The Surrey family's memento of Archie. The number of medals has swelled to four with the award, in 2021, of the Arctic Star.

Archie Surrey's medals. The Arctic Star, belatedly awarded as it was to all recipients, is second from right, and bears the crest of HMS Renown on the ribbon.

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)

Archibald's name is in Column 2 of Panel 57.

Detail of Archibald'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)
Archibald's son, Doug Surrey (photo, 2001 additional service information, October 2011, upated biographical information, May 2013, June 2018 and June 2023.)