Hampshire & Isle of Wight

HMS Hood's bell unveiled at Navy museum Portsmouth

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Media captionThe Princess Royal unveiled the bell at a ceremony in Portsmouth

The restored bell from the World War Two battlecruiser HMS Hood has been unveiled 75 years after the ship was sunk by the Bismarck.

Known as The Mighty Hood, it was hit by a shell from the German battleship in the Denmark Strait on 24 May 1941.

After a failed attempt to recover the bell from the seabed in 2012, it was eventually raised in August 2015.

The Princess Royal unveiled the bell at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.

Rob White, a vice president of the HMS Hood Association, said: "To see something from HMS Hood, and a very significant part of her, right before our eyes is incredibly important and very moving for everybody involved.

"She was so utterly destroyed, there was virtually nothing left of her and only three survivors. What we hope is that it will carry that message forward about the dedication and courage of her crew."

The bell bears an inscription in memory of Rear-Admiral Sir Horace Hood, who died in the Battle of Jutland in World War One.

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Image caption HMS Hood was sunk by the battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic

It forms part of an exhibition commemorating Jutland, the biggest naval battle in the 1914-1918 war.

The museum said the bell was a memorial to both battles, which happened 25 years apart.

HMS Hood was struck near its ammunition magazines which subsequently exploded, causing the ship to sink.

Of the 1,418 crew on board HMS Hood, only three were pulled from the water alive. It was the worst loss of life from a single British warship.

The sinking sparked a huge Royal Navy pursuit of the Bismarck, which was destroyed three days later. The German death toll was more than 2,000.

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