-H.M.S. Hood Crew Information-
Remembering Hood - Joey the Kangaroo
by A. Thomas
Updated 06-May-2014

From Association Newsletter number 5 (circa 1977) comes this amusing tale of the sorts of things you might find aboard Hood - anything from a kangaroo to a Rolls Royce!

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Joey the Kangaroo
I was fender boy of the 2nd Picket Boat and bowman later, and our Midshipman was the son of that famous actress. Dame Sybyl Thorndyke, and he kept us well supplied with tins of Bluebell for polishing, and what a picture those boats were.

I remember when on a spring cruise we had aboard the Hood a Rolls Royce, a Race Horse, a Donkey, a pair of Flamingoes and a baby Seal, and there was also a stuffed Kangaroo in a big glass case somewhere between decks.

When the Hood had returned from her world cruise she was presented with a Kangaroo which later in 1926 had to be sent to a Zoo, then Lady Hood hearing about it, presented a Bulldog pup as a new mascot to the Hood. The Chief Buffer looked after him.

I also remember once when we were preparing to go to sea from Plymouth, cars and all sorts of things being hoisted aboard but one thing in particular was a Combination Motor Bike and side car, arid just as it was being swung onboard along came the Commander, Arthur John Power - a marvellous man - and every inch of him a Naval Officer. As soon as he saw the Combination he shouted orders of "What the hell is that? Take it off my ship", so it was landed back on the Dockside. This Combination belonged to a Commissioned Gunner whose nickname was Clickity Click.

As soon as the coast was clear Clickity Click started up the bike and ran it over the Dockside and many years later a Plymouth Newspaper reported that a Motor Cycle Combination had been picked up with some ship's wires, when tying up alongside.

I have in my house a glass-fronted case that at one time hung on the bulkhead of the Chief Petty Officers Mess and was presented to the Mess when the Hood visited Canada on the World Cruise. The tea-set and tea-pot which were in it have long since gone. Now how I came to have this case.

The Hood paid off and most of the ship's company went to the Tiger and the case went with them and was mounted on the bulkhead of the Chiefs Mess. Then came the time for the Tiger to pay off and in the Chiefs Mess was a squabble as to who was to have the case, and it was decided by the President and Vice President of the Mess that it should go to the youngest married man in the Mess and I was then the youngest and the junior.

Messman of the Mess - the other being a three badge A.B. The two Chiefs I well remember - one was Chief Gunners Mate Bert Mitchele who was known by thousands as the "Spirit of the Bayonet". The other was Chief E.R.A. Joint who was to me a gentleman of the highest degree, and was a Weymouth man.

A. Thomas,
Glamorgan, S. Wales.