Algernon Foster 1939 - 41

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The loss of HMS Hood

In May 1941 Hood sailed with HMS Prince of Wales to intercept the German battleship Bismark before it could move into the North Atlantic and attack Allied shipping. During the battle, on 24th May 1941, Bismark struck Hood with one or more shells which penetrated the armament magazine. A fire then spread to the main magazine resulting in a catastrophic explosion which tore the ship in half. Of the 1418 crew only three men survived.

A Christmas card sent from HMS Hood by Algernon Foster to his fiance Mabel. (RNM)

The following letter, dated the 17 May, was to be one of the last written to Mabel before Algernon died in the disaster but she did not receive it until after his death. In the letter Algernon discusses Mabel's daily life back in Britain.

'I am very pleased to hear you at last received some of my mail. But unfortunately I have not seen anything of the letters you mention those of 25th April to 5th May as yet. I do not wish you to stop going to dances if you go with one of the girls at the office. You must get out sometimes that is understood. I hope your mother goes to the pictures with you on Saturday. As you mentioned it was a great shame the last time she was with you there was a raid.'

See the letter or read the transcript

A certificate commemorating the life of Algernon Foster. (RNM)