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HMS Hood was the last battle cruiser built for the Royal Navy. Commissioned in 1920, she was named after the 18th-century Admiral Samuel Hood. One of four Admiral-class battle cruisers ordered in mid-1916, Hood had serious design limitations, though her design was drastically revised after the Battle of Jutland and improved while she was under construction. For this reason she was the only ship of her class to be completed.

As one of the largest and, ostensibly, the most powerful warships in the world, Hood was the pride of the Royal Navy and, carrying immense prestige, was known as ‘The Mighty Hood’.

In May 1941, she and the battleship Prince of Wales were ordered to intercept the German battleship Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, which were en route to the Atlantic where they were to attack convoys. On 24 May 1941, early in the Battle of the Denmark Strait, Hood was struck by several German shells, exploded and sank. Due to her perceived invincibility, the loss had a profound effect on the British people.

William PennycookWM.

In this picture is Hamilton Man William Pennycook & his brother Tommy (Right) along with his cousin to the left who is unknown. The picture was taken in 1940 the year before he died.

William was one of the crew men on board the HMS Hood on the day it sank. He was born on 19 May 1919 to George and Jeanie Pennycook, of Hamilton. He spent much of his childhood in Nova Scotia and later returned to the UK.

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He lived at Morgan Street and Prior to joining the Navy, he worked with his father at Viewpark Colliery, he was only 22 years old at the time of his loss.

Historic Hamilton would like to thank Toni Sempie for sending in this picture of her Great Uncle.

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