-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 James Plowman

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Date of birth: 9th December 1902
Place of birth: Bournemouth, Dorset, England
Previous occupation: Tram conductor
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Petty Officer
Service Number: J93990
Joined Hood: 31st August 1933 (Leading Seaman)
Left Hood: 28th August 1936 (Petty Officer)

Biographical Information: William James Plowman joined the Royal Navy almost as soon as he was permitted to: he enlisted as a 'Boy Second Class' on 19th December 1918, just ten days after he turned 16, and just a month or so after the end of the First World War. Interestingly, his service record lists his civilian occupation as 'Tram Conductor', even at that tender age!

William had early experience of 'big ships' serving in the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign and the elderly dreadnought HMS Iron Duke. On attaining the age of 18, he signed on for 12 years' 'man's time' on his birthday in December 1920.

William joined HMS Hood as a Leading Seaman, and served onboard for almost exactly three years, from August 1933 to August 1936. While serving in Hood, he was advanced to the rate of Petty Officer, first in an acting capacity and then substantively. While serving in Hood he demonstrated his skill as an oarsman. His family still own the pulling prizes he won while on board: Seaman A Cutter - 1st; Rodman Cup Cutter - 2nd; P O Cutter - 1st. See photograph.

By the onset of the Second World War, William had already been serving in the Far East in the elderly destroyer HMS Scout, based alternately between Singapore and Hong Kong. His service record indicate that he was discharged from naval service in February 1942, deemed 'Permanently Unfit for Naval Service' owing to a medical condition. Members of his family recollect that this was due to tuberculosis, probably contracted in the Far East.

William Plowman died in 1948.

Additional Photos

William Plowman's sporting prizes.

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)
Adrian Plowman, grandson, biography and photograph November 2020.
Service Record: ADM/363/373(Ancestry)