b. 1833 Seaton Carew, County Durham. d. 12/09/1913 Hartlepool, County Durham.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 11/03/1883 Long Scar Rocks, Northumberland.
Henry was the second eldest son of William Hood, who in 1823, became the Coxswain of the “Tees”, the first lifeboat in Seaton Carew, County Durham. On William’s retirement, his eldest son Robert took over, holding the post between 1855 and 1867, when Henry took his place.
In 1883, a Norwegian schooner named the Atlas ran aground on the Longscar Rocks. Eight horses and 15 seamen, including Coxswain Henry Hood, gathered to launch the lifeboat. The rough sea meant that the lifeboat could not be taken too close to the Longscar in case it too fell foul of the rocks. With limited vision due to the sleet and hail, Henry Hood and John Franklin took the brave decision to climb on to the Longscar, wade through the icy water and search the reef on foot. The two men made their way slowly until finally they spotted the vessel. They called back to the lifeboat, another crew member, Matthew Franklin, brought to them a heaving line which was thrown toward the Atlas and was caught by their Captain. There were now three men standing perilously on the open rocks, their brave actions could have cost them their lives if the sea had knocked them from their feet and swept them into open water but with great difficulty the rescue was made, and the five crew members of the Atlas were taken aboard the lifeboat. The Mate, who had jumped overboard, and the Captain who had been struck by the heaving line were barely conscious. Hood was dragged in last; he was battered, bruised and exhausted. But he and his crew, along with the rescued five,safely returned to the shore soonafter.
Henry Hood, John and Matthew Franklin, were all awarded silver medals for their bravery during the rescue of the Atlas. Henry also had the Albert Medal of the second class bestowed upon him by Queen Victoria. Henry eventually retired in August 1898 after 31 years as Coxswain of the Seaton Carew lifeboat. He and his crew were instrumental in saving 89 lives. On his retirement he was awarded the Silver Second Service Clasp Medal, a framed Certificate of Service from the R.N.L.I, and a silver watch, gold chain and £30 from the crew of the lifeboat and friends of Seaton Carew.
HER Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to confer the decoration of the ” Albert Medal of the Second Class” upon MR. HENRY HOOD, Coxswain of the lifeboat belonging to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, stationed at Seaton Carew, for his gallantry in saving life at the imminent risk of his own, on the occasion of the wreck of the Norwegian schooner “Atlas,” on the Long Scar Rocks, on the 11th March last.
BURIAL LOCATION: HOLY TRINITY CHURCHYARD, SEATON CAREW, COUNTY DURHAM.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: HARTLEPOOL MUSEUM, HARTLEPOOL, COUNTY DURHAM.