Warfare in News

Posted on Friday 13th May

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of HMS Hood’s keel laying as well as 75 years since she was tragically sunk during the Second World War. To mark the occasion, the ship’s bell, recovered from the sea bed in August 2015, is to go on display at NMRN, and will be unveiled there on Thursday, 19 May by HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne.

On 1 September 1916, the Mighty Hood’s keel was laid down but it later sank during the Battle of the Denmark Strait on the morning of 24 May 1941. The ship sank within minutes after being badly hit by shells fired by the German warship Bismarck, leaving behind only three surviving crew members.

42,100-ton battlecruiser HMS Hood was the longest ship built for the Royal Navy, measuring at 860ft, until the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers were built in 2014. She was launched on 22 August 1917 by Lady Hood, widow of Sir Horace Hood who was killed during the 1916 Battle of Jutland. Many people think that HMS Hood was named after the late Sir Horace Hood, or even the 1880s First Sea Lord Sir Arthur Hood of Avalon, but officially she was named after the first of the great naval Hoods, First Viscount Hood of Whitley (Lord Samuel Hood, 1724-1816).

Her remains were located 60 years later in July 2001 by a British deep sea exhibition, led Blue Water Recoveries Ltd.’s Survey Director David L. Mearns, who found and filmed the wrecks for documentary ‘Hunt for Hood’, that was aired in early August 2001 by Channel 4. Another documentary, ‘The Battle of Hood and Bismarck’, was aired in two parts later that same year.

Ten years later, the wreck’s famous bell was located by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s state-of-the-art equipment but couldn’t be lifted from the sea bed due to strong winds between Iceland and Greenland. It wasn’t until 2015 that the bell was recovered and will soon be on display at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.

A hundred years after her keel was laid down, and 75 years after her dramatic sinking, Hood’s bell is to be unveiled by the Princess Royal during the opening of the new Jutland centenary exhibition at the National Museum of the Royal Navy on 19 May 2016.

For more information about HMS Hood and the H.M.S Hood Association, visit HMS Hood.

Want to visit the Jutland Exhibition? For Jutland history, exhibition news and to buy tickets, visit Jutland.org.

Further Reading

The Battlecruiser HMS Hood

Only £19.99

The Battlecruiser HMS Hood

(Paperback - 272 pages)
by Bruce Taylor

The battlecruiser HMS Hood is one of the great warships of history. Unmatched for beauty and charisma, unequalled for size, for 20 years the she was the glory ship of the Royal Navy, flying the flag across the world in the twilight years of the British Empire. Here, in words, photos and colour artwork, is the story of her life, her work and her people, from the laying of her keel on the Clyde in… Read more...


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