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Raymond Harry Utteridge

Raymond Harry Utteridge

Male 1914 - 1941  (Age: 27)    Has 23 ancestors but no descendants in our family tree.


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  • Name Raymond Harry Utteridge 
    Born 17 May 1914  Woodbridge, Suffolk, EnglandFind all individuals with events at this location 
    • In BMD register, mother's maiden surname given as MAYES.
    Gender Male 
    Died 24 May 1941  At SeaFind all individuals with events at this location 
    Cause: Killed in Action 
    Address :  
    On board 'HMS Hood' 
    • Petty Officer Telegraphist, Serviceman P/JX 155190, joined HMS Hood on 14 May 1934. It was at one of the most famous WW2 sea battles, 'The Battle of Denmark Strait', that HMS Hood engaged The Bismarck, one of Germany's most advanced and modern warships. HMS Hood was out-gunned by Bismarck and was pounded by several direct hits resulting in an enormous explosion that engulfed the entire ship in smoke and flames. She sank almost immediately. Of her crew of 1,419, only 3 survived. To this day, no trace of the remaining crew has ever been found.
    The Battleship HMS Hood
    The Battleship HMS Hood
    HMS Hood, the 'Mighty Hood' as she was popularly known in the Royal Navy, was the largest warship in the world on commissioning in 1920 and a symbol of imperial strength throughout the inter-war years. Her sinking in one of the most famous naval engagements in history, against the German battleship Bismarck, has etched itself on Britain's popular memory.

    On 19 May 1941 HMS Hood sailed with the brand new battleship Prince of Wales to intercept the German battleship Bismarck that was attempting to break out into the North Atlantic. Bismarck and her compatriot, the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, were shadowed on radar by the Norfolk and Suffolk which reported their position to Admiral Holland in Hood. In the Denmark Strait on the morning of 24 May Holland ordered his ships to close the range and shortly before 0600 both sides opened fire. The Bismarck's fifth salvo hit the Hood amidships penetrating the secondary armament magazine. The detonation spread to the main magazine resulting in a catastrophic explosion which tore the ship in half. Only three of her 1418 crew survived.

    The loss of the navy's flagship in such dramatic circumstances and the appalling loss of life were greeted with profound shock in Britain. Prime Minister Winston Churchill famously signalled to the fleet 'The Bismarck must be sunk at all costs.' Crippled by Fleet Air Arm aircraft, Bismarck was engaged by the battleships King George V and Rodney on the morning of 27 May before being sunk with torpedoes. The destruction of the Mighty Hood had been avenged after one of the most dramatic chases in naval history.

    Ack: Paraphrased from an article from the Royal Navy
    The German Battleship 'Bismarck'
    The German Battleship 'Bismarck'
    In 1939, the German navy launched the 823-foot battleship Bismarck at Hamburg, the largest warship commissioned at the time.

    Adolf Hitler hoped that the state of the art Bismarck would herald the rebirth of the German surface battle fleet. However, after the outbreak of war, Britain closely guarded ocean routes from Germany to the Atlantic Ocean, and only U-boats moved freely through the war zone.

    In May 1941, the order was given for the Bismarck to break out into the Atlantic. Once in the safety of the open ocean, the battleship would be almost impossible to track down; all the while wreaking havoc on Allied convoys to Britain. Learning of its movement, Britain sent almost the entire British home fleet in pursuit.

    On May 24, the British battle cruiser Hood and battleship Prince of Wales intercepted it near Iceland. In a ferocious battle, the Hood exploded and sank, and all but three of the crewmen were killed.

    The Bismarck escaped, but because it was leaking fuel, it fled for occupied France. On May 26, it was sighted and crippled by British aircraft, and on May 27, three British warships descended on the Bismarck and finished it off. The German death toll was over 2,000.
    HMS Hood - Extract from 'Top 10 Fighting Ships' (3:13)
    HMS Hood - Extract from "Top 10 Fighting Ships" (3:13)
    HMS Hood was the pride of the Royal Navy. HMS Hood was a massively armed battlecruiser with what was thought to be armour equal to her armaments. To all intents, HMS Hood was considered to be one of the most powerful battlecruisers afloat in World War Two.

    HMS Hood was 44,600 tons, had a crew of 1,419 and was faster than the Bismarck with a maximum speed of 32 knots. The Hood had been launched in 1918 and was armed with 8 x 15 inch guns, 12 x 5.5 inch guns, 8 x 4 inch AA guns, 24 x 2 pound guns and 4 x 21 inch torpedoes.

    HMS Hood suffered from one major flaw - she did not have the same amount of armour as the Bismarck. The fact that the Hood was faster than the Bismarck by 3 knots was as a result of her lack of sufficient armour for a naval battle fought in World War Two. What had been considered sufficient armour in 1918 when Hood was built, was to prove a fatal flaw in 1941.

    On May 24th, 1941, the Royal Navy tailed the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen when they attempted to break out into the Atlantic. If both of these ships had got into the Atlantic, they could have created havoc amongst the Atlantic convoys that were vital to Britain. The Hood relied on information sent back to it by the cruisers Norfolk and Suffolk. The Bismarck and Prinz Eugen had night time and sea fog on their side and for a while both cruisers lost both German ships.

    However, by 02.47 on May 24th, the Suffolk had regained contact with the Bismarck. The information sent back by the Suffolk led the Hood to believe that she would be just 20 miles from the Bismarck at 05.30 on May 24th. At 05.35, the lookout from the Hood made out the Prinz Eugen and the Bismarck at a distance of 17 miles.

    Admiral Holland, on the Hood ordered the battlecruiser to turn to the German ships and at 05.45 they were only 22,000 metres apart. At 05.52, the ‘Hood’ opened fire and shortly afterwards was joined by the ‘Prince of Wales’. At 05.54, both the Prinz Eugen and the Bismarck fired their guns primarily against the ‘Hood’.

    The Prinz Eugen hit the Hood and set alight some anti-aircraft shells kept on deck. The fire this caused was not particularly dangerous for the ‘Hood’ even though it produced a great deal of smoke. At 06.00 a salvo from the Bismarck hit the Hood. The Bismarck had fired from 17,000 metres and the elevation of her guns meant that the shells that hit the ‘Hood’ had a high trajectory and a steep angle of descent. The Hood had minimal horizontal armour and one of the shells from the Bismarck penetrated the Hood’s deck and exploded in one of her magazines. A massive explosion tore the ‘Hood’ in half. Those who saw the explosion said that the bows of the ‘Hood’ were raised out of the sea before they sank. The ship sank extremely quickly - within two minutes - and 1,416 men out of a total crew of 1,419 died.
    Buried
    CWGC Commemoration: UTTERIDGE, Raymond Harry (1941)
    CWGC Commemoration: UTTERIDGE, Raymond Harry (1941)
    Raymond was serving aboard HMS Hood when the ship was sunk by the German Battleship 'Bismarck' during the 'Battle of Denmark Strait' between Iceland and Greenland.
    Plot: Panel 52, Column 2.
    Siblings 4 siblings 
    Person ID I13357  Mitchell Families
    Last Modified 27 Jul 2012 

    Father James Arthur Utteridge (ID:I13352)
              b. 1883, Falkenham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Bessie Alice Beatrice Mays (ID:I13240)
              b. 1884, Falkenham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 1909  Woodbridge, Suffolk, EnglandFind all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 5 children 
    Family ID F3395  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 17 May 1914 - Woodbridge, Suffolk, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Cause: Killed in Action - 24 May 1941 - At Sea Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
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