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Maurice John Hood

Biography of Maurice John Hood

Maurice Hood
Maurice Hood

Surgeon Lieutenant Maurice John Hood was born in Glasgow and graduated MB ChB from the University in 1941. He joined the Royal Navy as a Surgeon Lieutenant and served aboard the destroyer HMS Obdurate.

In January 1943, while HMS Obdurate was escorting a convoy in the Barents Sea, Hood was transferred in heavy seas to the trawler Northern Gem to operate on wounded survivors from the destroyer HMS Achates, which had been sunk by a German U-Boat. He was awarded the the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for his bravery.

On 25th January 1944 HMS Obdurate herself was hit by a torpedo while sailing with another convoy to Russia, but was able to continue in service. Hood was transferred that night to the merchant ship SS Penelope Barker to treat a seaman suffering from appendicitis. He was awarded a posthumous Mention in Despatches (MID) for his bravery in refusing to leave his patient when the steamer was torpedoed by a German U-Boat: both men were lost when the ship sank that night.

Summary

Maurice John Hood
Born 14 October 1918, Glasgow, Scotland.
Died 25 January 1944.
University Link: Graduate
GU Degree: MB ChB, 1941;
Father's Details: Colin Hood; Warehouseman
War Service: Surgeon Lieutenant, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Grave / Memorial: Portsmouth Naval Memorial, England
View Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
Record last updated: 10th Dec 2012

University Connections

University Roles

  • Graduate

WWII Roll of Honour

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Posted by Mr. John Hood at 8:28:54 on 7 May 2012

Hello - my name is John Hood of Toronto, Canada - during the 1970s my father, Canadian novelist Hugh Hood OC and myself developed a small but interesting collection of British and Canadian military medals and decorations. One of the prizes of our collection at the time was a Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) - a rather rare gallantry award for naval personnel, which we had obtained largely because it's recipient was none other than Maurice John Hood. There is a long and august tradition of naval service in the Hood family, as you will perhaps know, going back to the time of Nelson and before; so we were delighted at the opportunity to acquire such a unique naval gallantry award to someone who shared my name. Some time after we obtained this rare DSC to Surgeon Lt. Hood, we were given copies of pages from a book which detailed the harrowing account of his extraordinarily heroic actions aboard the HMS Obdurate and the other ships to which he was transferred (evidently by breeches buoy in raging Murmansk seas). I'm sorry to say the title of that book is lost to my memory - and unfortunately Surgeon Lt. Hood's DSC is no longer in my possession. However, the fact that his medal has passed out of my hands has not allowed me to forget the brave and selfless contributions of a very gallant sailor and physician, whose name I have the honour to share and by whose courage and dedication the University of Glasgow must also be honoured.