Horace Lambert Alexander Hood

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The Honourable Horace L. A. Hood in mourning as a Captain, Royal Navy.

Rear-Admiral THE HONOURABLE Horace Lambert Alexander Hood, K.C.B., M.V.O., D.S.O., Royal Navy (2 October, 1870 – 31 May, 1916) was an officer of the Royal Navy during the First World War. An officer of undoubted ability, he died leading the Third Battle Cruiser Squadron in action at the Battle of Jutland.


Early Life & Career

Hood was born at 40 South Street, London, on 2 October, 1870, the third of five sons of Francis Wheler Hood, Fourth Viscount Hood (1838–1907), and his wife, Edith (d. 1911), daughter of Arthur W. Ward, of Tunbridge Wells. He was a descendant of Samuel, first Viscount Hood, whose younger brother was Alexander Hood, First Viscount Bridport—names famous in British naval history. He passed into the Britannia first in his term.[1] He served in the Temeraire, of the Mediterranean Squadron, from September, 1885 to June, 1886, then in the Minotaur until January, 1887, when he joined the Calliope, and in her was present at Samoa in the hurricane of 16 March, 1889 when she narrowly escaped destruction in the roiling harbour waters.

In the examinations for the rank of Lieutenant he set a record of 4,398 out of a possible 4,600 marks, and won the Beaufort Testimonial, the Goodenough Medal, and the Ryder Memorial Prize.[2]

On 10 June, 1891, he was confirmed in the rank of Sub-Lieutenant, dated 2 October, 1889, and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant dated 8 April, 1890.[3] He had a year's service in the Trafalgar (June, 1891 – September, 1892), and then spent three years ashore studying gunnery and acting as a staff officer; he next served successively in the Royal Sovereign, Wildfire, Sans Pareil, and Cambrian. In June, 1897 he was lent to the Egyptian government for the Nile campaign, where he had his first experience of active service, in command of a river gunboat. For his services in the Sudan, Hood was specially promoted to the rank of Commander on 15 November, 1898, aged twenty-eight years, one months, and thirteen days.[4] On the outbreak of the South African War, he was employed for three months on transport duties. After serving as commander (1900–03) of the Ramillies, flagship of Lord Charles Beresford, second in command in the Mediterranean.

On 1 January, 1903 he was promoted to the rank of Captain,[5] and in July was appointed to the second class protected cruiser Hyacinth, flagship of Rear-Admiral George L. Atkinson-Willes on the East Indies Station. He led the force sent against the Dervishes at Illig, Somaliland, in April 1904, when 627 officers and men of the Hyacinth, Fox, and Mohawk, with a detachment of 127 men of the Hampshire regiment, dislodged the Dervishes after landing in a heavy surf in the dark. For his services in Somaliland he was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) dated 7 September, 1904.[6]

In March 1906, Hood assumed command of the Berwick.[7]

He was appointed as naval attaché at Washington, D.C., on 15 October, 1907, after two committee work at the Naval Intelligence Department. On 5 December, 1908, he assumed command of the battleship Commonwealth, and was superseded on 31 December, 1909.[Citation needed]

On 19 January, 1910, Hood married Ellen, daughter of the late A. E. Touzalin, President of the Chicago, Burlington and Northern Railroad, and widow of George Nickerson, by whom she had had three children. Their marriage took place in Burlington, Iowa, the home of the bride's uncle.[8][9] They had two sons.

On the occasion of King George V's coronation he was appointed an Additional Member of the Third Class, or Companion, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.) on 19 June, 1911.[10]

Hood commanded the Royal Naval College at Osborne from October, 1910 to January, 1913. On 22 May he commissioned the dreadnought battleship Centurion at Devonport, in the knowledge that he would shortly relinquish the command on promotion to flag rank.[11] Ironically, a few days earlier he had acted as prosecutor at the Court-Martial of his predecessor in command of the Centurion, Captain Guy R. A. Gaunt, over a collision between the ship with the Majestic in 1912.[12] Hood was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 17 May, vice Coke,[13] and hoisted his flag on board the Centurion for three months. In June, 1914 he became naval secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill.

Great War

Hood as a Rear-Admiral.
Image: In the collection of Simon Harley.

In October, 1914 Hood was placed in command of a small naval force assisting the British and Belgian armies in stemming the German advance towards the channel ports, The Dover Patrol. He was mentioned in despatches by Field Marshal Sir John French, Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force.[14]

On 27 May, 1915 he took command of the Third Battle Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet, with his flag in the Invincible.[15]


On 30 May, 1916 Hood's squadron sailed with the main body of the fleet from Scapa Flow, and on the 31st, during the preliminaries of the Battle of Jutland, was stationed twenty-five miles ahead of the battle fleet. When news arrived at 3.40 pm that Vice-Admiral Beatty's Battle Cruiser Fleet was engaged, Hood was detached to the east-south-eastward at full speed to support. Two hours later he came into action in support of the light cruiser Chester, which, hard pressed by Konterdmiral Friedrich Bödicker's second scouting group (light cruisers), was retiring under heavy fire to the westward. Hood, hearing the gunfire to the north-west, turned towards it. His appearance surprised Boedicker, who, abandoning chase of the Chester, gave his commander-in-chief, Admiral Scheer, information by wireless that the British main body was to the north-eastward. At the same time, Vizeadmiral Hipper, with the German battle cruisers, believing himself headed by the whole British fleet, turned south-west to rejoin his own battleships. This was a decisive moment in the battle, and it has been said that by his intervention "Hood was the magician that pulled off the trick" that prevented the near destruction of the British fleet. Hood found Beatty's squadron, and turned to form the vanguard of the Battlecruiser Fleet. Within a few minutes he was closely engaged with Hipper's battle cruisers, now coming up again from the southward.

After about ten minutes of battle, in which the flagship had been hit several times, Hood called to Invincible's gunnery officer (Hubert Dannreuther): "Your fire is very good. Keep at it as quickly as you can; every shot is telling". Five minutes later (18.34) a shell from Derfflinger burst in Invincible's "Q" turret. The flash went down to the magazine, which immediately exploded, and the ship, breaking in half, sank in a cloud of smoke, leaving her bow and stern standing out of the water to mark where she lay. Hood, and all his ship's company save six, perished.

After the battle Beatty told the Second Sea Lord, Sir Frederick T. Hamilton, "You should have seen him bring his squadron into action[,] it would have done your heart good, no one could have died a more glorious death."[16]


On 15 September he was posthumously appointed an Additional Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.).[17] Lady Hood died at Sandwich on 1 October, 1950.[18]

See Also


  • Marder, Arthur J. (1978). From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, The Royal Navy in the Fisher Era, 1904-1919: Jutland and After, May 1916–December 1916. Volume III (Second ed.). London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192158414.
  • Turner, Frederick Jackson; Hooper, Alice Forbes Perkins (1970). ed. Billington, Ray Allen. "Dear Lady": the letters of Frederick Jackson Turner and Alice Forbes Perkins Hooper, 1910-1932. San Marino, CA: Huntington Library.


Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Douglas A. Gamble
Captain of H.M.S. Hyacinth
21 Jul, 1903[19] – 20 Aug, 1905[20]
Succeeded by
Douglas R. L. Nicholson
Preceded by
Charles H. Dare
Captain of H.M.S. Berwick
13 Mar, 1906[21] – 12 Aug, 1907[22]
Succeeded by
Lewis Clinton-Baker
Preceded by
Frank E. C. Ryan
Royal Navy Naval Attaché at Washington, D.C.
16 Aug, 1907[23]
Succeeded by
Charles F. Sowerby
Preceded by
Godfrey H. B. Mundy
Captain of H.M.S. Commonwealth
5 Dec, 1908[24] – 31 Dec, 1909[25]
Succeeded by
George A. Ballard
Preceded by
Arthur H. Christian
Captain of Royal Naval College, Osborne
5 Oct, 1910[26]
Succeeded by
Rudolf W. Bentinck
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Centurion
16 Jan, 1913[27]
Succeeded by
Michael Culme-Seymour
Preceded by
Dudley R. S. de Chair
Naval Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty
1 Jun, 1914[28]
Succeeded by
Henry F. Oliver
Preceded by
New Command
Rear-Admiral, Dover Patrol
3 Oct, 1914[29]
Succeeded by
Sir Reginald H. S. Bacon
as Vice-Admiral, Dover Patrol
Preceded by
Henry L. Tottenham
as Rear-Admiral Commanding, Cruiser Squadron E
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Eleventh Cruiser Squadron
19 Apr, 1915[30]
Succeeded by
Drury St. A. Wake
as Captain Commanding, Eleventh Cruiser Squadron
Preceded by
New Command
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Third Battle Cruiser Squadron
27 May, 1915[31] – 31 May, 1916
Succeeded by
Command Abolished


  1. Temple Patterson. Tyrwhitt of the Harwich Force. p. 295.
  2. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 27 May, 1913. Issue 40222, col F, p. 12.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 26171. p. 3118. 12 June, 1891.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 27023. p. 6692. 15 November, 1898.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 27512. p. 3. 2 January, 1903.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 27711. p. 5776. 6 September, 1904.
  7. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  8. "Marriages" (Marriages). The Times. Friday, 21 January, 1910. Issue 39175, col B, p. 11.
  9. "Dear Lady". pp. 425-426.
  10. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28505. p. 4588. 19 June, 1911.
  11. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 23 May, 1913. Issue 40219, col G, p. 4.
  12. "The Centurion Collision" (News). The Times. Tuesday, 20 May, 1913. Issue 40216, col B, p. 10.
  13. The London Gazette: no. 28722. p. 3753. 27 May, 1913.
  14. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29072. p. 1647. 16 February, 1915.
  15. Hood Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. p. 114.
  16. Hamilton diary entry for 7 June, 1916. National Maritime Museum. HTN/106.
  17. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29751. p. 9070. 15 September, 1916.
  18. "Deaths" (Deaths). The Times. Tuesday, 3 October, 1950. Issue 51812, col B, p. 1.
  19. Hood Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 114.
  20. Hood Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 114.
  21. Hood Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 114.
  22. Hood Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 114.
  23. Hood Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 114.
  24. Hood Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 114.
  25. Hood Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 114.
  26. Hood Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 114.
  27. Hood Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 114.
  28. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 28 May, 1914. Issue 40535, col B, p. 12.
  29. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1914). p. 6.
  30. Hood Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 114.
  31. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 26ex.

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