-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

William Edward Wright

Photo of
Date of birth: 26th February 1898
Place of birth: Scarborough, Yorkshire, England
Wife: Elsie
Previous occupation: Agricultural worker.
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Gunner (T)
Service Number: J.99692
Joined Hood: 12th May 1931 (Gunner (T))
Left Hood: 5th April 1932 (Gunner (T))

Biographical Information: Reaching the commissioned rank of Gunner was no mean feat: it involved starting at the bottom as a Boy Seaman or an Ordinary Seaman, specialising in gunnery or related discipline and performing extremely well in that specialisation, outstripping your peers. William Edward Wright's successful career followed just such a path. He was a Gunner (T), which meant that his specialism was torpedoes.

Born in Stainton Dale (now Staintondale) in the district of the seaside town of Scarborough, North Yorkshire, William (known as Teddy) grew up close to the sea, so joining the Royal Navy might have seemed like a natural course. But Teddy first pursued a career as an agricultural labourer, so he did not join the RN until he was approaching his eighteenth birthday - about two years older than most entrants to the Service. The Navy thought he was even older: his records list his birth year as 1897, whereas his family records (corroborated by his birth certificate) make clear that he was not born until 1898. Living on a farm with his uncle, as he was, perhaps he felt a need to 'massage' his date of birth! We shall never know.

Once in the Service, Teddy achieved rapid advancement to the rate of Petty Officer. In January 1931, following a string of 'Superior' annual professional assessments, Teddy was promoted to the rank of Acting Gunner (T), which was the rank he held by the time he joined Hood in May 1931.

After his successful naval career, Teddy, with his wife Elsie and their son Ronald, made their home in the south of England, where he returned to his agricultural roots as a salesman of farm machinery. The family finally settled in Overton, Hampshire, where Teddy died on 12 July 1979.

Additional Photos

Youthful William as a Leading Seaman. (The named photo at top left shows him as a Petty Officer.)

William and Elsie on their wedding day. The uniform which William is wearing, with its single narrow stripe, denotes his status as a Gunner.

The 'Flimsy' which William received on leaving H.M.S. Hood. This is a personal document from a Royal Navy ship's commanding officer to an officer departing his ship. It is intended to act as a testimonial and has no place in the RN's formal reporting process. The words, '.... to my entire satisfaction' signify that an officer has performed well.

A silver cigarette case, a leaving present from the commissioned officers of H.M.S. Hood. He also received a silver dinner service from the Warrant Officers' and Chief Petty Officers' mess.

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)
Stephen Wright, grandson, photographs and biography January 2024.