-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 Carter

Photo of
Date of birth: 19 May 1881
Place of birth: Plymouth, Devon
Previous occupation: Fire Engine Man
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Chief Stoker
Service Number: 305075
Joined Hood: 30th October 1923 (Chief Stoker)
Left Hood: 10th November 1924 (Chief Stoker)

Biographical Information: William Henry Carter, known as Bill, was born on 19 May 1881 in the naval dockyard city of Plymouth. Bill’s Royal Navy Service Certificate incorrectly shows his year of birth as 1882.

Prior to joining the Navy Bill was employed by the Great Western Railway Company. His record card shows that he joined that company on 22 November 1898 and that his reason for leaving on 31 August 1901 was “to better his position”. Bill joined the Royal Navy on 24 September 1903 at the naval barracks HMS Vivid in his home city and volunteered to serve initially for 12 years. He was already 22 years old – much older than most recruits.

Bill spent much of World War I stationed at the Naval Depot in Wei Hai Wei, a Chinese territory leased to the United Kingdom, and so did not return home for nearly three years.

Bill’s service certificate records that throughout his naval career his character was assessed as Very Good and his professional ability was consistently assessed as ‘Superior’. He was presented with his Long Service and Good Conduct medal on 2 December 1918. Not surprising, then, that he achieved advancement through the ranks and, in 1919, selection for promotion to Chief Stoker.

On 30 October 1923 Bill joined HMS Hood as a Chief Stoker and on 27 November 1923 HMS Hood led the Special Service Squadron on a ten month circumnavigation of the world on what was known as the “Empire Cruise”. Bill retained copies of a number of souvenir booklets of that trip, including ‘Crossing the Line’ on 15 December 1923, ‘Visit to Vancouver’ on 25 June 1924 and ‘Visit to San Francisco’ on 9 July 1924.

Bill served until 23 September 1925 when he was discharged to pension and transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve in Devonport, from which he was discharged on 18 May 1932.

Back in civilian life, Bill worked for the Millbay Laundry Company in Plymouth. During the Second World War the Plymouth house in which Bill and his wife Emma lived was bombed and they went to live with his son Frank and his daughter-in-law Dora, first in Plymouth and subsequently in Bath.

Bill continued to live with Frank and Dora until he died in Bath in 1973 at the age of 91.

History of ships served in and ratings held:

Date FromDate toShipRatingSource
24th September 190310th May 1904VividStoker 2nd ClassADM188/497
11th May 190430th November 1904TheseusStoker 2nd ClassADM188/497
1st December 190430th June 1906CornwallStoker 2nd ClassADM188/497
1st July 190631st December 1906CornwallStoker 1st ClassADM188/497
1st January 190726th March 1907Vivid IIStoker 1st ClassADM188/497
27th March 190727th April 1908NiobeStoker 1st ClassADM188/497
28th April 19082nd May 1910SuffolkStoker 1st ClassADM188/497
3rd May 191017th June 1910Vivid IIStoker 1st ClassADM188/497
18th June 19104th November 1910LeanderStoker 1st ClassADM188/497
5th November 191015th February 1911IndusStoker 1st ClassADM188/497
16th February 191116th March 1911IndusLeading StokerADM188/497
17th March 191130th April 1912LeanderLeading StokerADM188/497
1st May 19126th September 1912LeanderStoker Petty OfficerADM188/497
7th September 191217th September 1912Vivid IIStoker Petty OfficerADM188/497
18th September 191225th February 1913IrresistibleStoker Petty OfficerADM188/497
26th February 19137th March 1913Vivid IIStoker Petty OfficerADM188/497
8th March 191315th December 1913IndusStoker Petty OfficerADM188/497
16th December 191316th January 1914IndusStoker Petty OfficerADM188/497
17th January 19149th March 1914DorisStoker Petty OfficerADM188/497
10th March 191416th January 1917Tamar (Wei Hai Wei)Stoker Petty OfficerADM188/497
17th January 191726th June 1917Vivid IIStoker Petty OfficerADM188/497
27th June 191720th March 1918BlakeStoker Petty OfficerADM188/497
21st March 191831st October 1918HeclaStoker Petty OfficerADM188/497
1st November 191831st December 1918Vivid IIStoker Petty OfficerADM188/497
1st January 19194th March 1919Vivid IIActing Chief StokerADM188/497
5th March 191911th May 1919Vivid IIChief StokerADM188/497
12th May 191930th September 1919CyclopsChief StokerADM188/497
1st October 191914th November 1919Vivid IIChief StokerADM188/497
15th November 191929th October 1923WarspiteChief StokerADM188/497
30th October 192310th November 1924HoodChief StokerADM188/497
11th November 192424th April 1925Vivid IIChief StokerADM188/497
25th April 192522nd June 1925Impregnable (King George V)Chief StokerADM188/497
23rd June 192523rd September 1925Vivid IIChief StokerADM188/497
24th September 1925Joined RFRChief StokerADM188/497

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)
Service record on Ancestry.co.uk
The Empire Cruise by VC Scott O'Connor