-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

Ernest Dickerson Sydenham

Photo of
Date of birth: 30th October 1875
Place of birth: Plymouth, Devon, England
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Engineer Commander
Joined Hood: February 1920 (Engineer Commander)
Left Hood: 12th May 1922 (Engineer Commander)

Biographical Information: Ernest Dickerson Sydenham was born in Plymouth, Devon, on 30 October 1875 and educated at the Royal Naval Engineering College at Keyham, Devon, at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich and in naval dockyards. He was appointed as a probationary assistant engineer in the Royal Navy on 25 June 1896 and confirmed in the rank in June the following year. During the period 1897-1908 he served at sea in a variety of ships in the Home and Mediterranean fleets. He was promoted to Engineer Lieutenant in July 1901.

Following further, more senior, appointments, Ernest Sydenham was promoted Engineer Commander on 18 September 1913. He spent much of World War I in the protected cruiser HMS Highflyer before returning to Britain in June 1917 and, following training courses, being appointed as the Engineer Officer designate for the new battlecruiser HMS Hood which had been laid down in September 1916. Sydenham then saw the ship launched in August 1918 and commissioned her on 15 May 1920. As the first Engineer Commander of Hood, he served in her until 1922.

Engineer Commander Sydenham married Maggie Steele Baillie at Christ Church, Sutton, Surrey on 4 July 1919.

Later in his career, Ernest Sydenham spent much time on attachment to the Royal Australian Navy, where, following a succession of successful appointments, he attained the rank of Rear Admiral - the photo shows him at this time. He returned to England on his retirement in October 1931, and emigrated to New Zealand five years later. He died in Christchurch on 12 June 1952.

Additional Photos

Hood, in build, flies a garland on 4th July 1919 in honour of the marriage, that day, of Engineer Commander Sydenham, her senior officer at that 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)
Photo of Ernest Sydenham in later life from the records of the Royal Australian Navy www.navy.gov.au. Kindly supplied by Graeme Lunn.
Photograph of Hood in build from photo archive of John Brown Ltd, now held in the National Records of Scotland. Kindly supplied by Ian Johnston.