-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

Ernest Stanley Smith

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Date of birth: 27th July 1903
Place of birth: Plymouth, Devon, Devonshire, England
Wife: Edith
Previous occupation: Horse driver
Service: Royal Marines
Rank: Marine
Service Number: 22731
Joined Hood: 5th January 1927
Left Hood: 27th August 1928

Biographical Information: Ernest was born in the naval city of Plymouth and joined up at the age of 14 years, 10 months and 29 days, in the last year of World War I. He began Service life as a bugler, but later transferred to Marine, remaining in service right through the inter-war years and leaving in 1945 at the very end of World War II.

Ernest served in HMS Hood for some 18 months in 1927 and 1928, as a single man. Shortly after leaving, however, on 22 December 1928, he married Edith. They had two children: son Ernest and daughter Jean. With extended periods away from home, adapting to domestic life on his return could not have been easy.

Although home-ported in his native Plymouth early in his career, Ernest transferred from Plymouth Division to Portsmouth Division in 1931, and remained in the Portsmouth area for the rest of his life. Although too young for active service in World War I and too old for most of World War II, he narrowly escaped the sinking of HMS Royal Oak, which he left not long before her loss in Scapa Flow in October 1939. After discharge from the Royal Marines in 1945, he worked in modest roles in the hospitality industry in the Portsmouth area, retiring in the late 1960s.

Ernest's family remember him as a Royal Marine of the old school: principled, hard working, loyal and honest. They recall his telling of his service in HMS Devonshire in July 1929 when ‘X’ turret exploded, killing seventeen of Ernest’s Royal Marine comrades.

In retirement, Ernest liked occasional visits to favourite pubs in Portsmouth and Eastney, his innate toughness and his Service background still much in evidence. Following serious illness in his eighties, Ernest spent his final years in a Southsea nursing home, where he died on 30 March 1988.

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)
Ernest's grandson Paul Wiggett, 2019