-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.

Chainbar divider

William Henry Sparks

Photo of
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Able Seaman
Service Number: SS8183
Joined Hood: 29th January 1920
Left Hood: 8th April 1922

Biographical Information: William was born at St. Colomb in Cornwall on the 8th April 1900. Before joining the Royal Navy he worked as a carpenter. He signed up for a short service engagement on 21 May 1918 and, being over 18 years old, was rated Ordinary Seaman and drafted to H.M.S. Vivid, the barracks at Plymouth. On 8th September 1918, he joined his first ship, H.M.S. Grafton, an Edgar class cruiser dating from the 1890s! After just under a year's service in H.M.S. Grafton, on 13 August 1919, he was rated Able Seaman. He continued to serve in Grafton for a further five months, leaving her on 28 January 1920. As such William would have been one of the first men to join the ship - she did not actually commission until 29 March 1920. Hood's first Captain, Wilfred Tomkinson, had joined the ship on 1 January. When William joined her on 28th of that month she was still in dock at Rosyth. Hood returned to the west coast of Scotland in late February and underwent a series of trials off Aran in March. In late March she returned to Rosyth where she was initially commissioned before returning to dockyard for more alterations in April. May saw the ship heading south to Plymouth, her home port during the early part of her career. Here she was fully commissioned into the Royal Navy on 15 May 1920.

William's service in Hood saw several interesting cruises - Hood was very much the pride of the Navy and the country wanted to show her off. The first of these took place in June 1920 when the ship undertook a cruise to Scandanavian waters where she received the Kings of Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

The first three months of 1921 saw what would become Hood regular 'spring cruise' to the Mediterranean. William would have been on two of these cruises as he did not leave the ship until 8 June 1922.

In 1921 William represented the ship at football - see photo below. Unfortunately, we cannot be sure about exactly when or there the matches were played nor who the opponents may have been or what the scores of matches were!

William died of natural causes 22nd January 1944.

Additional Photos

William as part of Hood's 1921 football team

Christmas greetings, 1921

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)
Paul Martin (Service records thought National Archives), October 2007, 2010