Royal Navy obituary in the Times newspaper
Royal Navy obituary in the Times newspaper

Royal NavyObituaries

The following obituary for Arthur William Acland Hood appeared in the Times newspaper.

Obituary in the Times newspaper
18 November 1901

Death of Admiral Lord Hood of Avalon.

We regret to announce the death of Admiral Lord Hood of Avalon, G.C.B., which occurred on the 15th inst. at Wootton-house, Glastonbury the residence of his nephew, Sir Alexander Fuller-Acland-Hood, M.P., to whom the admiral was devotedly attached. Lord Hood had not enjoyed good health for some two years past, but it was in May that his illness became serious, giving cause for the gravest anxiety, and his death was not altogether unexpected by his relatives. The news will be received with much regret in the naval service and by a very large circle of friends. The deceased admiral was a keen sportsman, an amateur artist of considerable talent, and an enthusiastic collector of naval prints and pictures. His taste lay naturally in the direction of sea pieces, and his paintings were mostly of this character; he possessed also a number of interesting sketches made when serving in the Crimea. The funeral will take place at Butleigh, near Glastonbury, on Saturday next, at 2 30.

Arthur William Acland Hood, born on 14th of July, 1824, was the younger son of Sir Alexander Hood of St. Andries, Somerset, second baronet, and grandson of Captain Alexander Hood, who was mortally wounded when in command of the Mars, in her action with the French 74-gun ship l'Hercule, and died in the moment of victory, on the 21st of April, 1798. The baronetcy was conferred on Captain Hood's brother Samuel, who commanded the Zealous in the battle of the Nile, and died in 1815, whilst Commander-in-Chief in the East Indies. He had no issue, and the title, by special remainder, passed to his nephew. Belonging to a family so distinguished in our naval annals, Arthur Hood's career was almost naturally shaped out for him, and he entered the Navy in August, 1836. He saw some little fighting on the north coast of Spain, where the Civil War was then raging, and afterwards on the coast of Syria, where, in 1840, he was present at the reduction of Acre. In 1844-45 he went through a course of mathematics and gunnery on board the Excellent and at the college in Portsmouth Dockyard. He then was appointed to the President, flagship of Rear-Admiral Dacres at the Cape of Good Hope, and a few months later, on the 9th of January, 1846, was promoted to be one of her lieutenants. He remained in the President till she was paid off in January, 1849, and after a year's holiday he was appointed, in January, 1850, to the Arethusa, then commissioned for the Mediterranean by Captain Symonds, afterwards very well known as Admiral of the Fleet Sir Thomas Symonds. With Symonds, in the Arethusa, Hood continued for nearly five years, and was promoted to the rank of commander on the 27th of November, 1854, for service with the naval brigade before Sebastopol. In 1856 he commissioned the Acorn brig for China, where he took part in the action with the junks in Fatshan Creek on the 1st of June, 1857, and served with the naval brigade at the capture of Canton in the following December. For this he received his promotion to captain, on the 26th of February, 1858. He had now several years on shore, and it was not till December, 1862, that he was appointed to the Pylades for the North America Station, where he remained for nearly four years, when he was recalled to England to take the command of the Excellent, then as now the headquarters of instruction in naval gunnery. He held this command for three years, and for the five following years was Director of Naval Ordnance, in which post he showed himself a careful, painstaking officer, though without the genius that was especially wanted at a period of great change. Irrespective of politics, Hood was by temperament a very old-fashioned conservative, and clung to the ideas of the past after they had ceased to be suitable for the present. The C.B. was conferred on him on the 20th of May,1871; and in June,1874, he was appointed to command the turret ship Monarch in the Channel Fleet.

On the 22nd of March, 1876, Hood was made a rear-admiral, and in January, 1877, he accepted a seat at the Admiralty. From December, 1879, to April, 1882, he commanded the Channel Fleet, and in June, 1885, he was appointed First Sea Lord of the Admiralty, in succession to Sir Cooper Key, and in the administration of Lord George Hamilton. The four years which followed were years of great change and great advance, but it was commonly supposed that Hood's efforts were mainly devoted to preventing the advance from becoming too rapid. Like his predecessor he scarcely understood the essential needs of England as a great naval Power, and several of his public declarations might be thought equivalent to an expression of belief that, useful as the Navy was, the country could get on very well without it. On 14th of July, 1889, having reached the age of 65, he was put on the Retired List, and at the same time resigned his post at the Admiralty. He continued, however, to take an active interest in naval affairs; and, somewhat curiously, showed in occasional letters in our columns and elsewhere a more correct appreciation of the problems of naval supremacy than he was supposed to have done during his official life.

He had obtained the rank of vice-admiral on the 23rd of July, 1880, and of admiral on the 18th of January, 1886. In December, 1885, he was made a K.G.B., and a G.C.B. in September, 1889. In February, 1892, he was raised to the peerage as Lord Hood of Avalon. He married, in October, 1855, Fanny Henrietta, third daughter of Sir Charles Fitzroy Maclean, and had issue two daughters.

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