-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

Richard Foard Powton

Photo of
Date of birth: 2nd September 1905
Place of birth: Plymouth, Devon, England
Previous occupation: Labourer
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Cook
Service Number: M37983
Joined Hood: 18th April 1925 (Cook)
Left Hood: 2nd January 1928 (Cook)

Biographical Information: Richard Powton was the son of Thomas and Louise Powton. A labourer in civilian life, he joined the Royal Navy as an Assistant Cook in February 1924. He was 18 years old. Richard's service in Hood was early in his naval career: Hood was his first ship and he was still holding Able Rate (Cook) during his Hood service from 1925 to 1928. His advancement thereafter was impressive: he was advanced to the rate of Leading Cook just four years after joining the Service, and to Petty Officer Cook after just nine years. Three years after that, he was promoted to Chief Petty Officer Cook.

Richard married Stella Ditchburn and they had two children, David and Kathleen. They lived in the Stoke area of Plymouth.

As a Chief Petty Officer Cook, Richard served in the heavy cruiser H.M.S. Exeter. In December 1939, Exeter was one of the three Royal Navy cruisers which did battle with the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee at the Battle of the River Plate. Richard died of wounds incurred during that battle, and was buried with full naval honours in Port Stanley, Falkland Islands.

The following is an extract from the ‘Exeter Memories’ website.

‘Richard Powton died of his injuries on the 17th December and was buried on the Falklands. From Godolphin Terrace, Plymouth he left an 11 year old daughter and a 6 year old son.’

From the Western Morning News.

‘GIFT FROM FRANCE Sent to Stoke Girl who Lost Father in HMS Exeter.

Miss Kathleen Powton of 18. Godolphin Terrace, Stoke, whose father died from injuries received in HMS Exeter, in which he was serving as a chief petty officer cook, has received a beautiful gift from the French Minister of Marine, consisting of an attache case containing needlework materials and also a French doll and a drawing book. An accompanying note says "This toy comes to you as your share of a gift made through the French Ministry of Marine from the wives and families of French sailors to the children of men of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines who have lost their lives in the present war."’

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: ADM/363/404 and ADM/188/1093(Ancestry)
Nigel Powton, grandson, photograph and biographical detail April 2024.