-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.

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Francis John Corner

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Date of birth: 26th May 1895
Place of birth: Kingsbridge, Devon, England
Wife: Mary Anne
Previous occupation: Farm labourer
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Leading Stoker
Service Number: K21503
Joined Hood: 1st April 1920 (Leading Stoker)
Left Hood: 6th January 1922 (Leading Stoker)

Biographical Information: Having started his working life as a farm labourer, Francis John Corner (known as Frank) joined the Royal Navy on 8th December 1913, with war clouds already gathering over Europe. Intriguingly, although the Royal Naval record shows him as nineteen years old it seems, from his birth certificate, that he was only eighteen. As a Devonian and Westcountryman, he naturally called Devonport (Plymouth) his home port.

On 8th December 1914, exactly one year after his enlistment, Frank saw action in the Battle of the Falkland Islands. Serving as a Stoker in the armoured cruiser HMS Carnarvon, he participated in the destruction of the German armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. His service certificate records that he was awarded one pound, one shilling and fivepence as his share of the prize bounty for that action!

By the time Frank joined HMS Hood in April 1920, he had advanced to Leading Stoker rate. A powerfully-built man, he was a member of victorious pulling (rowing) teams while on board - his winner's medals survive. He remained in Hood for nearly two years.

In 1931, while serving in the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire, Frank was promoted to Chief Petty Officer rate. He went on to complete a full 22 years' 'man's time' and was released to pension on 7th December 1935. War was looming once more, however: Frank rejoined the Royal Navy for the duration of hostilities and served right through World War II until 1945, serving ashore both in Devonport and, finally, Rosyth in Fife.

Frank lived his entire married life in South Brent in the South Hams of Devon. His family consisted of his wife Mary, son Roy (born 1919) and a daughter May (born 1921).

In civilian life, Frank worked for the local water board and was responsible for monitoring the flow and quality of the water at the recently-completed Avon Dam on Dartmoor. He was subsequently employed by the Post Office as a postman around the South Brent district and on retirement worked part time in the local garage.

Frank passed away on 10th November 1971 aged 76.

Additional Photos

HMS Carnarvon, in which Francis Corner fought at the Battle of the Falkland Islands, 1914 (IWM).

Francis Corner (back row, left) with his team mates - perhaps in the victorious cutter crew.

Frank Corner later in career, as a Chief Stoker.

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)
Mr Keith Corner, grandson, photos and documentation 2021.