A historic piece of Royal Navy history has been consigned to Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s forthcoming Maritime Auction of 1st July 2015 in the form of a Royal Navy Life preserver from HMS Hood (MA15/290)
A War Department issue life preserver for HMS Hood
Inscribed in black text to the front with the ship’s name, the reverse has War Department markings, that though faded are a good indication of the origins of this piece. It was acquired by the vendor’s father while on holiday in Scotland in the 1930s who bought it at auction and it has remained within the family ever since. It is most likely possible that it was taken from the ship during her major refit May 1929-March 1931 and sold as a souvenir by an enterprising sailor. As well as the pride of the Royal Navy the Hood also attracted a great deal of public support and following during her showing the flag exercises in the 1920s, her sinking having a dramatic affect worldwide.
Souvenirs from the Hood were taken by visitors to the ship in the 1920s and 1930s, like the brass Dolphin fitting (MA13/124A)
and the rowing blade trophy (SC19/644
). These pieces are very few and far between as many remain within private collections.