-H.M.S. Hood Crew Information-
H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour
Memorials to Men Lost in the sinking

We will remember them
Chainbar divider

In Remembrance of
Cecil Henry Crouch

Photo of
Date of birth: 19th April 1909
Place of birth: Stockbridge, Hampshire, England
Parents: William and Daisy Crouch
Wife: Eva Crouch
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Regulating Petty Officer
Service Number: P/M 40093
Joined Hood: 29th April 1939 (Regulating Pety Officer)
Left Hood: 24th May 1941 (loss of ship) (Regulating Pety Officer)
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Biographical Information:

Cecil was born on 19th April 1909 in Stockbridge, Hampshire to William and Daisy Crouch.

Having started his working life as a labourer, he joined the Royal Navy on 10th October 1924 as a Boy 2nd Class. He received his initial training at H.M.S. Ganges. Leaving Ganges in late August 1925, he was drafted to the Battleship H.M.S Revenge, flagship of Vice-Admiral Henry Oliver, Commander-in-Chief of the Atlantic Fleet. Cecil would spend 20 months in Revenge before returning to Barracks in May 1927. His next draft was to the old Battle Cruiser H.M.S. Tiger, then serving as a sea-going gunnery training ship. In August 1928, he was rated Able Seaman.

Following his service in Tiger, from June to October 1929, Cecil undertook a course at H.M.S. Excellent, the Royal Navy's gunnery training school at Whale Island, Portsmouth, which qualified him as a Seaman Gunner. In November, 1929, whilst still in barracks at H.M.S. Victory, Portsmouth, he passed his proficiency test for the rating of Leading Seaman although the economic crises of the late 1920s and early 1930s would mean it would be a further five years before he would get the opportunity to serve in that rate.

In February 1931, after two and a half years ashore, came the opportunity to return to sea as Cecil was drafted to the cruiser H.M.S. Cornwall, part of the 5th Cruiser Squadron on the China station. Cecil served in the far east until December 1933.

Returning to the U.K., he undertook a second course at H.M.S. Excellent which seems to have been a refresher or update as his non substantive rate remained Seaman Gunner.

October 1934 saw Cecil resuming his overseas service as he joined the destroyers of the Mediterranean Fleet. He served briefly in H.M.S. Dainty before joining H.M.S. Whitshed on New Year's Day 1935 - finally getting the opportunity to serve as an Acting Leading Seaman. 12 months later he was made substantive and lost no time in taking, and passing, on 9th January 1936, his proficiency test for Petty Officer.

When Whitshed returned to the U.K. Cecil returned to barracks to await his next draft. It was, perhaps, during his time in barracks, that Cecil decided on a change in direction. On 21st April 1937 he passed his proficiency test for Regulating Petty Officer. Unlike the five years he had waited for the opportunity to undertake the work of a Leading Seaman, a draft as an Acting Regulating Petty Officer came just three weeks after passing the test as he joined the cruiser Hawkins, Flagship of the Reserve Fleet. Eleven months later his rate as Regulating Petty Officer was made substantive. Leaving Hawkins in June 1938, Cecil joined her sister ship Effingham for two months before he returned to H.M.S. Victory in August of the same year. He was in barracks for only a month before he returned to the Reserve Fleet, joining the Aircraft Carrier H.M.S. Courageous in September 1938. This proved, again to be a short draft as in late December Cecil returned to barracks. In April 1939, he joined his final ship, the Battle Cruiser H.M.S. Hood. Hood was, at that time, refitting at Portsmouth. She recommissioned on 2nd June so Cecil would have had a month to get a feel for this ship before the crew for the new commission joined. He also used this brief period before recommissioning to position himself for further advancement, passing the proficiency test for Master at Arms on 11th May 1939. Sadly, he would never get that opportunity as he was killed, aged 32, when Hood was lost in action on 24th May, 1941.






History of ships served in and rate held:


Date FromDate toShipRatingSource
10th October 192420th June 1925GangesBoy 2nd ClassADM362/4
21st June 192527th August 1925GangesBoy 1st ClassADM362/4
28th August 192524th May 1941RevengeBoy 1st ClassADM362/4
19th April 19273rd May 1927RevengeOrdinary SeamanADM362/4
4th May 192725th May 1927Victory IOrdinary SeamanADM362/4
26th May 192717th August 1928TigerOrdinary SeamanADM362/4
18th August 192816th May 1929TigerAble SeamanADM362/4
17th May 192930th May 1929Victory I - 3Able SeamanADM363/246
31st May 192925th October 1929ExcellentAble SeamanADM363/246
26th October 192911th February 1931Victory I - 3Able SeamanADM363/246
12th February 19314th December 1933CornwallAble SeamanADM363/246
5th December 19335th February 1934Victory IAble SeamanADM363/246
6th February 193425th March 1934Victory II (Warspite)Able SeamanADM363/246
26th March 19346th April 1934Victory IAble SeamanADM363/246
7th April 193422nd October 1934ExcellentAble SeamanADM363/246
23rd October 193416th December 1934St. Angelo (Dainty)Able SeamanADM363/246
17th December 193431st December 1934St. Angelo (Whitshed)Able SeamanADM363/246
1st January 193531st December 1935St. Angelo (Whitshed)Acting Leading SeamanADM363/246
1st January 193631st May 1936St. Angelo (Whitshed)Leading SeamanADM363/246
1st June 193614th July 1936St. Angelo (Whitshed)Acting Petty OfficerADM363/246
15th July 19361st September 1936Victory II (Whitshed)Acting Petty OfficerADM363/246
2nd September 193620th April 1937Victory IActing Petty OfficerADM363/246
21st April 19379th May 1937Victory IIActing Regulating Petty OfficerADM363/246
10th May 193720th April 1938HawkinsActing Regulating Petty OfficerADM363/246
21st April 193823rd June 1938HawkinsRegulating Petty OfficerADM363/246
24th June 193811th August 1938EffinghamRegulating Petty OfficerADM363/246
12th August 19382nd September 1938Victory IIRegulating Petty OfficerADM363/246
3rd September 193829th December 1938CourageousRegulating Petty OfficerADM363/246
30th December 193828th April 1939Victory IIRegulating Petty OfficerADM363/246
29th April 193924th May 1941HoodRegulating Petty OfficerADM363/246



Additional Photos



Cecil in the uniform of a Leading Seaman (probably early 1935)






Hood Chapel, Church of St. John the Baptist, Boldre, Hampshire, England

Photos of the memorial











Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Southsea, Hampshire, England

Photos of the memorial



The part of the memorial in which the Hood casualty names can be found.
(Panels 45 to 61)





Cecil's name is in Column 1 of Panel 58.





Detail of Cecil's name.






Sources
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
'Register of Deaths of Naval Ratings' (data extracted by Director of Naval Personnel (Disclosure Cell), Navy Command HQ, 2009)
His niece, June Roche (photos, November 2004