-H.M.S. Hood Crew Information-
H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour
Memorials to Men Lost in the Sinking of Hood, 24th May 1941

We will remember them
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In Remembrance of
William Frederick Spencer Dowdell

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Date of birth: 31st May 1908
Place of birth: Gosport, Hampshire, England
Parents: George and Florence Dowdell
Wife: Alice Dowdell
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Leading Seaman
Service Number: P/J 111638
Joined Hood: 2nd June 1939 (Able Seaman)
Left Hood: 24th May 1941 (loss of ship) (Acting Leading Seaman)

Biographical Information:

William was born on 31st May 1908 in Gosport, Hampshire to George and Florence Dowdell. He attended The Royal Hospital School, Holbrook from June 1919 to January 1921.

John joined the Royal Navy on 31 May 1926 and was subsequently assigned to the following ships/establishments at the ranks and dates indicated:

Impregnable, Boy 2, 12/9/1924; Impregnable, Boy 1, 07/09/1925 to 22/11/1925; Centurion, 23/11/1925 to 10/12/1925; Benbow, 11/12/1925; Benbow, Ordinary Seaman, 31/5/1926 to 16/9/1926; Warspite, 17/09/1926; Warspite, Able Seaman, 31/08/1927 to 27/11/1927; Victory 1, 28/11/1927 to 26/07/1928; Victory 1, 25/7/1928; Victory 1, 31/5/1929; Centurion, 4/1/1930; Victory 1, 11/12/1931; Vernon, 20/2/1932; Vernon, 31/5/1932; Dryad, 10/6/1932; Effingham, 24/2/1933; Victory 1, 18/3/1933; Suffolk, 19/7/1933; Victory, 3/3/1935; Excellent, 18/5/1935; Repulse, 14/4/1936; Victory 1, 1/7/1938; Vernon, 10/9/1938; Vernon, 4/2/1939; Hood, 2/6/1939 (promoted to Acting Leading Seaman 1/5/1940).

He was the husband of Alice Dowdell, of Wymering, Hampshire. Together they had four children - Iris, Barbara, Willam and John. He was serving as an Acting Leading Seaman and was 32 years old at the time of his loss.

Additional Photos


Southsea National Naval War Memorial

Panel 46, Column 3

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

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
'Register of Deaths of Naval Ratings' (data extracted by Director of Naval Personnel (Disclosure Cell), Navy Command HQ, 2009)
Mr Mike Hill (photo, 2001)
John Dowdell (photos, March 2010)
Monty Callow, Alumni Relations Officer, The Royal Hospital School (information, November 2016)