'˜We will preserve the heroic legacy of HMS Hood'

MEMBERS of the HMS Hood Association say they will not let the heroics of the iconic battleship be forgotten.

Monday, 23rd May 2016, 6:00 am
HMS Hood was sunk on May 24, 1941 - an action by the Nazis that left the nation stunned

Tomorrow marks the 75th anniversary of the sinking of HMS Hood by the German warship Bismarck.

The day will be marked with commemorations up and down the country, including in Portsmouth, her home city.

And as the anniversary looms, the association has admitted it is determined to continue the legacy of all those killed in the tragedy.

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Jackie Miller is the secretary of the organisation.

She said: ‘When Hood was sunk the news was received with disbelief and then shock reverberated nationally, it was an enormous psychological shock to the British people.

‘It was a truly tragic event – she was a mighty warship whose Achilles heel was her downfall.’

Hood was sunk on May 24, 1941 and left the nation stunned. Only three of Hood’s 1,418 ship’s company survived it during the Battle of the Denmark Strait.

Bismarck blasted the iconic 48,000-tonne warship with explosive fire.

Her fifth salvo slammed into Hood’s magazine resulting in a catastrophic explosion, which tore her in half.

She sank in a couple of minutes.

Tomorrow will see the unveiling of Hood’s bell at the National Museum of the Royal Navy after being recovered from the seabed in August last year.

Jackie added: ‘Hood has remained iconic and alive in the hearts of our veterans, members and the families of the men who were lost.

‘While we still have a small number of veterans who served on her their numbers are now in single figures.

‘The HMS Hood Association is aware that if we do not change our focus we will not survive and the name of Hood will become less prominent.’

To preserve Hood’s memory, the group is looking towards the next generation of sailors – from the ranks of the Sea Cadets.

The group is now forging tighter links with the Portchester-based Nautical Training Corps unit TS Tenacity, among others.

This month will see a cadet receiving the new Veterans’ Award for the most tenacious cadet, which is the latest accolade backed by the association.