THE last survivor of the HMS Hood disaster bade a final farewell to his shipmates earlier this year.

Former North-East man Ted Briggs was one of only three men to survive when the ship sank after her brief battle with the Bismarck.

He recently returned to the Denmark Straits for a Channel Four documentary, to lay a memorial plaque to the great ship.

Ted was born on March 1, 1923, in Redcar, east Cleveland.

It was in the summer of 1935 that 12-year-old Ted first saw HMS Hood when the mighty vessel visited Redcar.

Anchored offshore, Hood's appearance had a profound effect on the young boy. He signed up for the Royal Navy as soon as he was old enough.

His training took place at HMS Ganges, at Shotley Gate, Ipswich, in Suffolk. He trained there for 16 months until, to his surprise, he was posted to the very ship which had first inspired his naval career - HMS Hood.