-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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Eric Harry Bates

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Date of birth: 10th January 1922
Place of birth: Falmer, Sussex, England
Previous occupation: Schoolboy
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Ordinary Seaman
Service Number: JX159521
Joined Hood: 26th May 1939 (Boy First Class)
Left Hood: 26th May 1940 (Ordinary Seaman)

Biographical Information: Eric Harry Bates was born in Falmer, Brighton, on the family farm, one of ten siblings. He joined the Royal Navy at Portsmouth on the 27th of July 1938, at the age of just 16, as a Boy Second Class.

Following training at basic training establishment HMS St Vincent, Eric received a draft to his first ship: HMS Hood, joining her on 26th May 1939. Even before arriving in Hood, Eric had been advanced from Boy Second Class to Boy First Class. Whilst serving in Hood, Eric attained the age of 18, and so, automatically, was advanced to Ordinary Seaman. His time in Hood ended in May 1940 following a bout of pneumonia. Soon after, Eric was involved in the Dunkirk evacuation: he and a friend took a motor launch to Dunkirk, and helped with the rescue of Allied troops. During that action, Eric was shot in the leg but managed to return safely to the UK. In December 1942, Eric was serving in the cruiser HMS Sirius when she fought in the last naval battle in the Mediterranean, the Battle of Skerki Bank. He later spent time in Malta.

Eric remained in the Royal Navy after the war, being advanced to the substantive rate of Petty Officer in 1951. His post war sea drafts included the battleship HMS Duke of York and the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes.

Hood, then, was Eric's first sea draft of a long career. In time, he attained the rate of Petty Officer. The last draft of his career was as a Gunnery Instructor in Portsmouth. He was discharged to pension on 9th January 1962, the day before his 40th birthday. In civilian life he became the publican of the Dog Tray in Brighton.

Sadly, Eric died in 1967, at the early age of 45.

Additional Photographs
None at this time.

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)
Patrick Bates, son, November 2020.