-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

Robert John Coombs

Photo of
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Stoker 1st Class
Service Number: P/KX 84977
Joined Hood: 4th May 1935
Left Hood: 28th August 1936

Biographical Information:

Robert was born in Cardiff, Wales, on 23 September 1915. His mother and father died when he was very young, so he was brought up by his aunty Hannah, in Cardiff. Before joining the Navy, he worked as a grocers boy.

Robert joined the Navy in September 1934. During his naval service, he was assigned to the following ships/rstablishments: H.M.S. Victory 2 (September 1934 - May 1935), H.M.S. Hood (May 1935 - August 1936), H.M.S. Victory 2 (August - September 1936), H.M.S. Dryad (September 1936 - June 1938),

H.M.S. Victory 2 (June - July 1938), H.M.S. St Angelo (July 1938 - June 1939), H.M.S. Maidstone 2 (July - September 1939) H.M.S. Drake 4 (October 1939 - June 1940), H.M.S. Lynx (July - September 1940), H.M.S. Cormorant (October 1940), H.M.S. Nile (November 1940 - April 1942) and lastly, H.M.S. Drake (February - May 1942). He was pronounced physically unfit for naval service after swallowing oil.

In 1946, Robert went to work for the Ministry of Agriculture. He was assigned to work at the horticultural nursery at Seaford. Whilst there, he met his wife-to-be, Kathleen. The couple were married in 1949. During their 53 year marriage, they had four children together- Brian, Carol, Robert and Martin.

After leaving the military, Robert worked at the RE Records office at Preston Barracks, Brighton for about 25 years. Later, he worked as a gardener and eventually as a maintenance man for the Newhaven Harbour Workshops.

Robert crossed the bar on 23 May 2002

Additional Photos


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)
His son, Martin Coombs (biography & photos, Aug 2005).