Of the 1,415 men lost in the sinking of Hood, at least 30 are known to be from the Greater London area. Several of these men are believed to have been from the southern portions of the area (Lewisham, Honor Oak and the various other nearby communities). Sometime after the war, a gentleman named Ray Raymont created a memorial to these lost locals. Unfortunately, over time the memorial was forgotten and fell into disrepair.
Over 50 years passed until a letter and the memorial were discovered by Mr Anthony Green and Mr Duncan Mac Donald-Heaney. Together they undertook the large task of restoring the memorial. In so doing, they also contacted various agencies (to include the H.M.S. Hood Association) in an effort to research the memorial and ensure details were correct. They also consulted the news media in order to get the word out about the memorial. Following the renovation of the memorial, they arranged to have it installed and dedicated in the Navy Corner of the club's Garden of Remembrance.
The Memorial Group
In 2006, Messrs Green and MacDonald-Heaney officially formed the "Battlecruiser HMS HOOD South East London Memorial Group". The group is based at the Bellingham Ex-Service Mens Club on Allerford Road, Catford, London SE6. The group is led by a working committee composed of Chairman Mr. D. Ball, Secretary Mr. Tom Healey, Researcher Mr D. MacDonald-Heaney and Treasurer Mr. W. Went. They are supported by others from the club. Though not officially a branch of the H.M.S. Hood Association, the group shares a very important and common goal with our Association - that of ensuring the lost men of Hood are remembered with honour. To that end, we support their efforts and regularly correspond/share information. We have also given them space here on our website.
The group have held an annual memorial parade since the memorial was dedicated in 2007. Generally, the parade is held on a Sunday in late May, closest to the date of Hood's actual sinking. The public are invited and encouraged to join in. You can see photos plus read about their past parades by selecting one of the links below.
- Memorial Re-dedication & Parade, Lewisham, May 2011 / you can also view coverage of the event by First Honour Productions.
- Memorial Re-dedication & Parade, Lewisham, May 2010
- Memorial Re-dedication & Parade, Lewisham, May 2009
- Memorial Re-dedication & Parade, Lewisham, May 2008
- Memorial Re-dedication & Parade, Lewisham, May 2007
The 2012 parade is scheduled for late May 2012. The exact dates and times will be posted here as soon as we receive them.