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When Briggs fought his way to the surface, he could see only two other survivors – there were no other bodies on the surface.
He recalled, "I could hear what sounded like the hissing of a hundred serpents, so I turned, and 50 yards away I could see the bows of the Hood, standing vertical in the sea." It was an awesome sight as it sank beneath the surface.
For the rest of his life, Briggs was haunted by that nightmare vision.
Only two other men survived – Midshipman William Dundas, who was killed in a car crash in 1964, and the redoubtable Able Seaman Bob Tilburn, who died in 1995.
Ted Briggs was the last survivor of the battle cruiser HMS Hood, sunk by the German warship Bismarck in the North Atlantic during the Second World War.
The complement of "The Mighty Hood", as she was affectionately known, was 1,421.
The loss of the Hood was a terrible shock for Britain, who thought its Navy impregnable. She had been launched in 1918, whereas the Bismarck had only been at sea for eight weeks and was more powerfully armed.