-H.M.S. Hood Crew Information-
H.M.S. Crew List

It is estimated that as many as 18,000 men served aboard the 'Mighty Hood' during the operational portion of her 21 year career. Unfortunately, there is no surviving official single listing of ALL men who served in her. Here you will find our attempt at creating such a listing. We are using the few, fragmentary crew lists known to exist, Navy Lists, various official reports, public records, and most importantly of all, inputs from the families of former crew.

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Ernest William Hill

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Date of birth: 28th June 1909
Place of birth: Shottermill, Haslemere, Surrey, England
Previous occupation: Civilian gardener
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Stoker Petty Officer
Service Number: KX79301
Joined Hood: 1936
Left Hood: 1941 (Left before loss of ship)

Biographical Information: Ernest William Hill was born on 28th June 1909 in Critchmere, Shottermill, Surrey, in the sub-registration district of Frensham. His first employment was as a gardener at Petworth House (now a National Trust property.) On 3rd December 1926 he joined the Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment with an Army service number 6083309. On 29th May 1928 he switched Service, and joined the Royal Navy at HMS Victory barracks, Portsmouth, as a Stoker Second Class.

Ernest married Violet Lockyer in September 1933. On 8th September 1936, he joined HMS Hood, in which he served until he left her, as a Stoker Petty Officer, on 17th March 1941 - just two months before the ship's loss. At this time he was living in College Street, Petersfield. Ernest had a busy war, including service in the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable, which he joined on 26th August 1941.

Ernest and Violet's first son John was born in May 1945 and second son Robert in September 1948. Ernest served in the Royal Navy until 25th June 1950. On leaving the Service on pensionable terms he kept his connection with the Senior Service, and remained in uniform, by joining the Admiralty police. At this time he and his family were living in Paulsgrove, near Portchester, Portsmouth.

After Ernest and Violet retired, they moved to Greatham near Liss, which was fairly rural, and Ernest spent most of his time pursuing his lifelong interest in gardening - see the amazing results in the photos below. Ernest and Violet lived in Greatham until about 1977 and then moved back to Petersfield, this time to Princes Road, where they spent the rest of their days. Ernest died in 1986 and Violet the following year. They were patient, unassuming and decent, and are remembered with great affection within the family.

Additional Photos

Wedding day of Ernest and Violet, in September 1933.

Ernest and Violet's house in College Street, Petersfield, where they spent the early years of their marriage. Ernest was living there during his service in Hood. The house appears little changed to this day.

Ernest William Hill with Admiralty Police colleagues, after his discharge from the Royal Navy in 1950. Ernest is at top left.

Ernest and Violet in Paulsgrove with their Ford Consul, in the 1960s.

Ernest with his granddaughter Karen at Greatham in 1971.

Ernest in his Greatham garden, proudly displaying the results of his expert gardening efforts.

Ernest with granddaughters Karen and Marie, in the garden of Ernest and Violet's 'forever home' in Princes Road, Petersfield. Photo taken around 1980.

One of the last photos of Ernest, taken not long before his passing in 1986.

No known memorials

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
'Register of Deaths of Naval Ratings' (data extracted by Director of Naval Personnel (Disclosure Cell), Navy Command HQ, 2009)
Cecil James Hill, brother, December 2008 (from service records)
Karen Goffe, granddaughter, photos and biography January 2023.