HMS Diadem

HMS Diadem
- from May 10 1943 to August 20 1944: the diary of signalman John Emrys Williams from Glan Conwy, north Wales.

Note: In August 2012 I held my Granfather's diary in my hand for the very first time. When I first published this diary online in 2001 the source was the transcription by my aunt Glenys Williams of her father's diary. Glenys did make some wise minor changes to remove personal references to family and emotions. I've now re-transcribed the diary from its original source. All remaining redactions are labelled using <snip>

First trip escorting the Russian Convoys in the Arctic Ocean
Second trip escorting the Russian Convoys in the Arctic Ocean
D-Day - the Normandy Landing
The Bay of Biscay

John Emrys WilliamsPreparations
Joined the Navy on May 10th 1943. Went to HMS Glendower where I was fitted out and taught a little seamanship. Quite exciting until the gilt wore off the gingerbread.

Transferred to HMS Royal Arthur Skegness on June 10th. Did not like it at first but soon made friends and settled down to hard study. Passed my exam and was sent to HMS Mercury Petersfield on Nov 2nd 1943. What a place to live in, one big rush all day and night, food very good but had to fight for it. My mates left me one by one, Swifty to Bermuda, Sharman to HMS Emporer. I left Errington on December 15th and went to RNB Portsmouth barracks, what a grim place, glad to get away from it.

Travelled all night of the 16th to join HMS Diadem at Hebburn near Newcastle. What a change it was to live on a ship, took me a long time to settle down. Left for Rosyth where we did a few speed trials, visited Edinburgh.

Left there for Scapa Flow. This place was worse than anywhere, so dreary and cold. Felt quite fed up with naval life. Treated like a dog.

Came down to Greenock where we stayed a few days doing trials. Visited Glasgow. Returned to Scapa, more trials. Down to Loch Ewe for conference with Convoy Commodore. Return to Scapa.


First trip escorting the Russian Convoys in the Arctic Ocean
On March 28 at 12.30 my first voyage begins. A Russian Convoy, the last thing I wanted, but it had to be done so why worry?

We left a nice summery day and met convoy at 12.00 the following day. Surprised at the number of Destroyers and Corvettes escorting us and Milwaukee and 50 merchant ships.

The first upset happened on March 29. A rating fell overboard Tracker TAC and was drowned, rather upset me.

March 30 1944: Starling TDR sank U-boat and one FW200 shot down Activity’s TAC fighters.

March 31 1944: One of Tracker’s aircraft crashed as landing. Tracker on fire, my heart in my mouth, what if fire got to petrol? What a relief, fire out but pilot killed, buried next day. Another FW200 shot down by some aircraft carrier.

April 1 1944: U-boats all around us, one sunk by Keppel TDR. U-boats attacked at night but failed to sink any merchantmen. Depth charges dropped all night but I was too tired to hear them. Action stations at 2.30 in the morning, nearly asleep on my feet.

Arctic seasApril 2 1944: Two snoopers shot down. U-boats still all around us. Still working hard.

April 3 1944: One U-boat sunk, one damaged. Destroyer fired on small Russian fishing boat and sunk her after 4 hits. All crew comprising of 6 men, 1 woman, 1 small girl and 3 boys were saved. They had drifted for 27 days.

2 snoopers shot down. One of our aircraft crashed as taking off, another crashed into sea. Both pilots saved.

April 4 1944: Met by Russian destroyers who took half the convoy to Murmansk. At 1.15 we left convoy and steamed into Vaenga Bay in company with US cruiser Milwaukee, which was to be handed over to Russians. What a trip it was. I was on the flag deck most of the time, all day and half the night, could hardly keep my eyes open. Did not wash or take my clothes off for a week. Actions station at 2.30 every morning. Snowing and freezing all the way but I did not feel too cold.

The score is: Jerry lost 6 aircraft and 3 submarines. We lost 2 men and 3 planes through accidents.

April 5 1944: At Vaenga Bay, tried to get ashore but too many going.

April 6 1944: Still here, rather busy.

April 7 1944: Good Friday. Service on Quarter deck in the morning. Left on return journey at 4 o’clock. Wonder what it will be like.

April 8 1944: Joined convoy and jogged along at 9 knots. Nothing to report.

April 9 1944: Nothing doing.

April 10 1944: Still quiet.

April 11 1944: U-boats about. Destroyer reports torpedo approaching port side but misses.

April 12 1944: Left convoy and raced full speed into Scapa where we arrived on April 13th.


Second trip escorting the Russian Convoys in the Arctic Ocean
My second trip to Russia starts on April 19th. Left Scapa in company with Fencer Activity (TAC (?)) and 20 odd TDDS (?) and one transport which returned with engine trouble after a few hours sailing.

April 20 1944: Nothing to report.

April 21 1944: A few alarm signals but nothing happened although one or two destroyers carried out depth charge attacks.

April 22 1944: German aircraft detected by Radar and then sighted, fighters take off but do not make contact.

April 23 1944: Still steaming quietly along. Arrived Vaenga Bay at 21.30.

April 24 1944: Met M. Jones. Enjoyed a talk in Welsh.

poster for the film Stage Door CanteenApril 25, 26 and 27 1944: Quiet except for 2 air raid warnings. Went to pictures to see Stage Door Canteen.

April 28 1944: Left Vaenga at 3.00 in the afternoon. Hope it will be a quiet trip.

April 29 1944: Steaming steadily along. Have been spotted by a German aircraft.

April 30 1944: Heavy snowstorms last night. No Jerries yet. Had my exam today, passed in oral.

About 8 o’clock at night, I witnessed my first torpedo attack. One merchant ship, two columns away from us was torpedoed. Hit by 3 torpedoes and broke in 3 pieces; both end pieces sank at once, the centre kept afloat long enough for other ships to save 104 men. What an exciting time we had, the merchant ships were firing tracers all around to point out subs but it transpired that they were firing at porpoises. One fellow saw a periscope on starboard which turned out to be a fog buoy. Destroyers were dropping charges all around us but with no results. I shall never forget that ship go up, it happened so suddenly without warning.

May 1st 1944: Instead of mayflowers we got May snow and lots of it.

Very cold today. Shot a Blom Voss plane down, Activity’s fighters did it. One Swordfish and 2 fighters fought it out with sub ahead with no result, sub submerged. Submarines following us and also ahead waiting to attack tonight. Too tired to worry.

Swordfish planeMay 2nd 1944: Altered course during night to avoid subs. Nothing happened. More snow. Swordfish dropped charges on sub and damaged it. Later photographs show that it was sunk.

May 3rd 1944: Subs still following us but nothing happened. Left convoy at 2200 and steamed with 3 destroyers at 26 knots.

May 4th 1944: Still steaming at 26 knots. ATLZ hoisted this morning but all clear shortly after. Arrived at Scapa at 4.30. Left again for Newcastle at 10.30. Result of this trip. We lost 1 merchant ship, over 120 saved out of 140 odd. Jerry lost 1 plane and one sub. We brought the Milwaukee crew down with us and also a few hundred Russians who were coming to fetch a few destroyers and the (black).

May 5th 1944: Arrived Newcastle at 4.30. Half ship's company left on leave at 20.00.

May 10th 1944: Went home to my little family for 6 days leave, oh how I enjoyed it, so nice to be back at Llan once more.

May 16th 1944: I left on 09.30 mail. How I hated leaving my littlefamily.

May 17 1944: Arrived Newcastle.

May 18 1944: Left for Scapa for more exercises. Stayed there till May 30th then left for Greenock where we arrived on May 31st.

June 1 1944: At Greenock.

June 2 1944: Still here.


Normandy Landing
June 3 1944: Left for the south in preparation for bombarding the French coast. <snip A p13>

June 4 1944: In the Bristol Channel all day long, waiting to be called. Weather very rough, felt rather sea sick. Returned as far as Bardsey Island - could see it quite plainly.

June 5 1944: The call has come at last. We are on our way to the greatest invasion ever, feeling very cool and collected. I pray to be given the strength to go through this like a man and not loose my nerve, and hope that I may return to my littlefamily who are so dear to me.

Tomorrow morning at 3 o’clock we fire the first shot. There are hundreds of invasion barges with us. <snip B p13>

How hard it is to be away from my family in such a place as this <snip C p13>. I went on duty at midnight till 4 o’clock.

Five British cruiser classes in formation on the way to Normandy D-1, Belfast, Diadem, Ajax, Emerald, Sirius, Orion.

June 6 1944: We were going towards the coast of France, 7 Cruisers and 4 Destroyers, led by Belfast, Diadem, Orion, Emerald, Ajax, Argonaut and Flores. Passed hundreds of craft of all shapes and sizes. There were 4,000 craft of all kinds.

Arrived 6 miles off shore between Le Havre and Cherbourge without being seen, stopped engines and waited for daylight. At about 4 o’clock our bombers came over and in 30 seconds Sur Mer was one mass of flames, it was a terrible sight, seemed so unreal. One bomber came down in flames. As dawn broke Belfast opened fire followed by us and the other cruisers followed suit. Our third salvo put a German battery out of commission.

beach landing Then the landing craft went in but we were unable to see the shore as it was one cloud of smoke. The Wrestler TDR struck a mine and went up in a cloud of smoke and flames. We have been firing off and on all day and the small craft have been running backwards and forwards all day long, unloading the big transports which are behind us. We have had 2 Red warnings so far but no planes were seen, our fighters have been over all day long.
I had no sleep last night and only a couple of hours today, feeling rather drowsy but don’t expect any sleep tonight. Jerry will certainly do something, this has been too quiet to be true. <snip D p12 or 14>

parachutes fallingI went on watch at 8 o’clock, things were very quiet until about 9 then hundreds of out planes and gliders came over in clouds. They cast off the gliders and dropped their parachutists. What a sight it was, hundreds of different coloured parachutes came down in one mass. 4 or 5 of our planes were shot down in flames. I shall never forget the sight. The town was in flames. At about 10.30 Jerry came over and bombed the beaches. What a row there was, then he started dive bombing us. Never will I forget that. There I was high on the bridge with no shelter and planes gliding down in the dark from all angles. We could not see them until they were on top of us. One dropped 3 bombs a few yards from us, he got such a warm welcome that he didn’t come back. At 12 I went below to sleep, too tired to think of bombs, and slept like a log till 7.45

June 7th 1944: <snip E p15> 3 of our Spitfires shot down by our own ships, they don’t wait to find out whose planes they are. Rather quiet all day except for occasional bombardments. Shifted berth at night but had to return to bombard Jerry who was pushing our troops back in one section. I slept in the CCO through it all.

June 8 1944: On watch at 4 this morning, rather quiet night. A shell whizzed passed us. Scrubbed flag deck in my bare feet. Our ships shot one Spitfire down again this morning. Made me feel mad. <snip F p15>

June 9 1944: This morning the Commander gave us the daftest talk I have ever heard on the loudspeaker. He complained about us wearing overalls and overcoats during the day and gave an order that all men must be in the rig of the day and look as smart as possible as an example to the soldiers who pass by us in the landing craft. Fancy worrying about dress when there are hundreds of young fellows losing their lives only a few miles from us. What is this? an invasion or a beauty competition? Had the first watch, Jerry came over as usual and plastered the shore, all the ships opened fire, it was a marvellous sight, the sky was a mass of tracers. Turned in at 12.15 slept like a log. Action stations during afternoon, in middle of shaving had to rush out.

June 10 1944: We fired at our own planes as usual this morning. Convoys come in every day and are loaded by small craft. Some big ships have been run on to the beach and are unloaded there by small craft. It will take a long time to get enough material ashore to push Jerry back, it is not going to be an easy job. The soldiers ashore are getting a rough time of it compared to the navy. A large convoy came in this morning, one ship was torpedoed on the way over. We got dozens of red warning during the daytime and have got used to them now. Have not had my clothes off since last Tuesday, sleep on forms in the mess, shall be glad to turn into the old hammock again. No mail yet, shall be glad when it comes. Are going to bombard at 11.15 today, an airfield I think. <snip G p16> The rest of the day was uneventful.

June 11 1944: Sunday. Nothing to report today, very quiet, except for a bombardment during afternoon. It mentioned us on the wireless bombarding an airfield but did not give our name. A nice clear day today, got a good view of the seaside resort. A lovely little place with a fine stretch of sandy beach, 4 or 5 beautiful church spires and red roofed houses, what a shame that it was all bombed and burnt out.

June 12 1944: Went to Portsmouth for Ammo, stayed there until 4 o’clock on the morning of June 14th then returned here to carry on with the firing.

June 15 1944: Churchill visited the beach. Things are very quiet. Few raid during the night.

June 16 1944: King visited beach. Still nothing out of the ordinary to report.

June 17 1944: Still quiet.

June 18 1944: Still bombarding.

June 19 1944: Quite an exciting day with a few shocks. It blew up a gale, ships in distress all over the place. Unable to unload any material, too rough. A Rhino loaded with lorries and guns collided with us and made 5 holes in port side. I was at dinner when it happened and had a shock to see 3 holes in our mess deck. Water rushed in and flooded the place. They soon blocked the holes with Duffle and overcoats.

During the afternoon I was on deck when a Jerry radio controlled glider bomb passed over us at over 300 miles an hour, we fired at it but missed. I rushed for my steel helmet and by the time I had put it on the thing had vanished. During the night another one circled us for a long time <unclear> I went off again.

June 20 1944: Still a gale, damn nuisance. We want to get rid of our ammo so that we can return to Portsmouth. <snip H p18> action stations at 4.30 this morning, too tired to leave the mess. <snip I p18>

June 21 1944: Still stormy. Nothing to report during day but during night things get lively and Jerry does his dirty work, sowing mines amongst the ships etc.

HMS DiademJune 22 1944: One destroyer struck mine today, damaged but not sunk, ran aground later. Jerry still sends his radio controlled bombs over us but have not seen one drop yet. We picked a soldier’s body from the sea today. I did not want to see him, it would only upset me. Did not feel too well today, had a headache and temperature, went to sleep early but could not sleep, too painful sleeping on a hard form. Have not had my clothes off for 3 weeks except for a bath. Will be glad to get into my hammock again.

June 23 1944: Early this morning a tanker struck by a bomb went up in flames. One poor fellow brought to our ship for medical attention. Very serious. One leg amputated above knee. Hope he recovers. Jerry sent a big plane over last night, passed right over us sowing mines, we failed to shoot it down. Bombs dropped near us but I did not hear, too tired to worry. Am working in C.C.O. now, better than Bridge.

June 24 1944: Last night Scylla struck a mine and had to be towed to Portsmouth. During the morning a mine sweeper blew up in little pieces, struck a mine. Jerry sows mines all over the place during the night and does a lot of damage with bombs. Very quiet day, no shot fired. No mail again today, fed up to the eyes . Commandos came on board and told us some of their experiences on the loudspeaker. Ammunition dump on beach blew up today, big fire. The fellow who had his leg cut off is getting along nicely, has to have another operation to get shrapnel out of his back.

By the way, the Commandos said that they landed at 1.30 on the first morning but their landing was not a success, as they did not land together as planned, they were 10 miles apart in different districts so they were not as strong as they would have been if they had been together.

June 25 1944: Nothing to report during day but rather lively during darkness. A lot happens then but I am too sleepy to go up on deck to see for myself. Quite a number of ships get bombed or mined and I often wonder who will be next but I don’t let it worry me. Received my first post for 3 weeks but <snip J p20> only a fraction of what was due.

June 26 1944: Saw some bombs explode in the water but did not see the plane. Listening to the news and reading the paper makes me sick. They tell us how the Warspite is blasting Jerry, the Warspite struck a mine over a week ago and is in dock in Britain, she must have a tremendous range if she can fire from Scotland to here. They also mention the good firing done here by Black Prince and Hawkins, Black Prince has been in the Med. since our first Russian trip and is still there. Hawking has not fired a shot, she has no guns, is a depot ship. I do wish they would give us our full share of praise, we deserve it for the work we have done.

The papers also say that the French people gave us a fine welcome when we landed, it was the reverse. Two girls of 17 and 18 were shot by our troops for sniping them.


June 27 1944: Nothing of note to report today. Very quiet except for a few warnings. Busy making slippers.

June 28 and 29 1944: Rather quiet.

June 30 1944: Returned to Portsmouth to re-store ammunition and repair guns etc.

July 1 1944: Very quiet.

July 2 1944: Went on leave, how happy I felt, couldn’t get home quickly enough.

July 3 1944: Arrived home 5.30 in morning, so nice to be with my wife and family and to see my Dad, Mam and family.

July 4 and 5 1944: Did all the usual rounds and tried to see everybody at once. Left on the night of the 5th feeling very downy.

July 6 1944: Arrived back at 12.00. Spent a few exciting hours at London, Doodlebugs came over at regular intervals.

July 7, 8, 9, 10,11 1944: Still at Portsmouth, rather quiet.

July 12 1944: Went ashore, saw a show, had supper and then walked about for a few hours looking for a billet without any luck. Spent the night in an air-raid shelter, sirens went at 12.30 and the Doodlebugs came low over our shelter all night long. Never spent such a rotten night in my life. <snip M p21>

July 13 1944: Felt rotten after a nightmarish night, returned to ship. Quiet.

July 14 1944: Left Portsmouth for Scapa. <snip N p21>

July 15 1944: Arrived at Scapa. Back to old routine once more.

July 16 - 25 1944: Very quiet. Went ashore one day. <snip O p21>

July 26 1944: C.S.IO (C.S. 10 ?) came aboard today, he has joined us for a few months and is 2nd in command of H.F. We are in for a hard time of it. Left Scapa at 18.30 and are now on our way to Plymouth. What of the future?

July 27 1944: Passed Wales.

July 28 1944: Arrived Plymouth.

July 29 1944: Still at Plymouth. Nice weather, very hot. No shore leave.

July 30 - August 4 1944: Patrolling Bay of Biscay for Jerry convoys, an eerie job, rushing up and down within sight of French coast. Met no convoys (thank goodness).

August 5 1944: At Plymouth, still no shore leave.

August 6 1944: Left for Scapa to get rid of C.S.10. Passed Wales but did not see much of it.

August 7 1944: Arrived Scapa in the morning and left again at night. Passed Wales and had a fine view of home district. ‘Hiraeth mawr’ am gartre a Mary <this is Welsh for huge longing for home and Mary>.

August 8 1944: Arrived at Plymouth once more.

August 9 and 10 1944: Still at Plymouth but not allowed to go ashore.


The Bay of Biscay
August 10 1944: Left Plymouth for Bay of Biscay.

August 11 1944: Patrolling French coast, lovely weather, stripped to the waist, very quiet day.

August 12 1944: Quiet during morning but in the afternoon we sighted some French fishing smacks. Sent Onslow to investigate them, she caught up with 2 of them close inshore and got a lot of useful information from them. We cruised about for approx. 2 hours waiting for Onslow's return. As she was about to return a signal station ashore started flashing at us. I was told to answer with 20 inch but could not make head nor tail of her, I was told to ask her if she had anything for us which I tried to do but could not get her to understand. At last we realised that she was manned by Jerries so we got ready to leave. Suddenly we heard shore batteries open up and shells began to drop all around us. Onslow had a very narrow squeak. Away we steamed under a smoke screen out to sea. We were back again at night and were met by a Jerry plane which flew high overhead and guided a radio controlled glider bomb straight at us, we all thought it was the end when suddenly when she was about 50 feet from us she swerved and hit the water about 50 yards on our starboard beam, thanks to Type 68. The ship rattled from stern to stern and gave us a shaking.

August 13 1944: (This day was my wedding anniversary) During dark hours of morning a Liberator flew over us and was shot down by Onslow and burst into flames. What a sight, poor fellows, they never had a chance. During afternoon we received a report of convoy comprising 1 large merchant Cruiser and 6 small craft. We steamed at full speed towards it and found that the 6 small craft had disappeared. Although the merchantman had 6 inch guns she never had a chance, our first salvo hit her fair and square on the bridge and dozens of rounds were pumped into her. We left her aground a blazing inferno with about 100 men in the water around her.

Later on we were shelled again by shore batteries.

August 14 1944: Shelled once more. Returned to Plymouth.

August 15, 16, 17 and 18 1944: At Plymouth where I spent 2 nice days ashore. <snip P p23>

August 19 1944: Left Plymouth at 12 last night for Bay of Biscay. Very quiet today.

August 20 1944: Still steaming up and down. Terrible thunderstorm last night.

That’s the last entry we’ve got from this diary. But there's a summary in an old address book listing John Emrys' next steps after the Diadem.


(by one of John Emrys Williams and his wife Mary's nine grand-children, Gareth Morlais Williams - April 2001. John and Mary's children were Hugh, John, Glenys and Brynmor.)

The first Arctic convoy mentioned is JW58. From research at, we believe the U-boats sunk were U961 (east of Iceland; all 51 crew died), U360 (SW of Bear Island; all 51 dead) and U288 (SW of Bear Island; all 49 dead)

The second Arctic convoy mentioned is RA59. From research at we believe the merchant ship seen sunk by torpedo was the SS William S. Thayer. Later, U277 was sunk SW of Bear Island with the loss of 50 lives.

Other useful links include: - about Russian Convoys - more about Arctic operations - Martin J. McGregor's account of April 30 1944's events - the sinking of William S. Thayer.

An interesting page about HMS Diadem in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia and the Wikipedia page about Juno Beach.
An account of the Canadian forces' landing by the Historical Officer of Canadian HQ.

In the Normandy Landing, later known as D-Day, HMS Diadem was part of Operation Nepture's attack.

The images on this site have been copied from other websites. It's sometimes difficult to ascertain copyright of WWII images. If you're the copyright holder of any image on this site, please let us know and we'll either credit you or remove the image.

We believe the Diadem went to the Indian subcontinent ater the war. One account says she went "to Far East 1945 paid off 1950 sold to Pakistan 29 Feb. 1956 and renamed Babur later renamed Jahangir".

Eight links added Feb 2007:
- about HMS Argonaut


Please let us know.(

  • if you know the Diadem's final fate
  • if you served on the ship and remember John Emrys Williams
  • if you know of anything else that may make an interesting addition to this site - or
  • if you can explain TDR, TAC, ATLZ, CCO, CSIO or billet

Some of these puzzles have now been solved...
Here's a gallery of images...


John Emrys Williams received the Russian Convoys medal from the Russian Embassy on August 14 1992.

He passed away April 7 1994. He was 86 years old.


Your stories added:

Added November 2015:
Three new stories. Photos of the ship at night with fireworks, Harold Sydney Clark's love of Copenhagen and a photo of an unknown officer.

Added December 2014:
Review of this year, with stories about Leslie Garrett, Ron Miller, George Langton and Ken Reith

Added June 2014:
"The sound of the depth charges being dropped (was) very similar to the sound of being hit by a torpedo" - Leonard Breakspear.

Added June 2014:
"He met my mother just after the war ended, and married her in December 1945. They toasted their future with Luftwaffe Reserve champagne. - Sally Phillips, daughter of John Phillips

Added June 2014:
Leslie Garrett: joined the Royal Marines at an under-age 16 and, at 5.42am on June 6, 1944, found himself serving on HMS Diadem off Beny-sur-Mer on Juno Beach on the Normandy coast.

Added April 2014:
"My father (William Marrett) would never talk about his war service, but I knew he was on the Russian convoys ... Until now I never knew that he was involved in the D day landings." - Trevor Marrett, writing from New Zealand

Added April 2014:
"Thousands of unsung heros - forgotten" - Vaughan Clark, son of Harold Sydney Clark

Added April 2014:
Update about Lorrie Coffey's Normandy Landing Anniversary Book and a Gala Dinner in Portsmouth in May 2014

Added April 2014:
"My father-in-law (John Wright) served on Diadem 1943-45, and was a member of the Diadem Association. He sadly passed away October 2013, at the ripe age of 92...playing golf just a fortnight before he passed away." - Bob Bevan-Jones

Added April 2014:
"My father, Arthur Harrison, served on HMS Diadem. (He) escorted Convoy JW63 on 1st January 1945 and the returning Convoy RA63 on 11th January." - Brian Harrison

30 stories added May 2013:
These were stories I posted to my Posterous blog between 2009-2011 and Posterous is now being switched off, so I'm moving them here for posterity.

NEW: Six new stories added April 2013:

Added April 2013:
A new book about D-Day will highlight HMS Diadem's role.

Added April 2013:
Karachi 1976. Photo of HMS Diadem as Babur.

Added April 2013:
After the war my father Joseph Connor suffered bad headaches and problems with his ears.

Added April 2013:
Locked in the engine room when a torpedo just missed - Jock Murphy

Added April 2013:
Too late for an Arctic Convoy medal for Jim McHugh.

Added April 2013:
An auction of the estate of former Diadem shipmate Edward George Christopher.


Added May 2011:
CPO William Arthur Baker and the Kreigsmarine Nazi flag (with pic). His son Tony Baker tells the story. Did Diadem crew march in Oslo?

Added June 2010:
News of one of the last surviving shipmates who served on HMS Diadem in WWII from the daughter of James William Prophet.

Added May 2010:
Much-needed answers and Arctic Convoy context to some diary puzzles by WWII Naval researcher David Verghese.

Added May 2010:
Do you remember the Diadem football team?

Added January 2009:
1. A postcard of the 1947 Fleet review
2. Anonymous hero John
3. The story of Regulating Petty Officer Daniel Victor Wells

Added December 2009: A gallery of 13 images of Diadem's end-of-War visit to Copenhagen from Danish magazine Billed-Bladet Nr 24, 1945 from Mary Lane, daughter of Clarence Edward Brenchley who served on HMS Diadem.

Added May 2009: Winston Churchill on board and other personal-collection photos of the ship from Clarence Edward Brenchley who served on HMS Diadem and his daughter Mary Lane.

Added March 2008: Five scarcely before seen photos of the ship from travtaff / Richard Cox's collection.

Added February 2007:
"...he had to hide in a barn under floor boards with rats running over him as a German patrol was searching underneath him" - Yvonne Clayton, daughter of the late
Albert George Singleton, A/Leading Coder, HMS Diadem, December 1943 - June 1945.

Eight new links added.

Added November 2006:
Stories of three former shipmates (Godfrey Edward Phillips, stoker 1st class,
Jack Coultous, and Dennis Fisher) and some good news: an update about Giles Allen's Granddad's medal award.

Added May 2006:
News from Giles Allen - the grandson of an HMS Diadem shipmate - about how to request Naval Service Records and about a new medal entitlement for those who served on the Russian Convoys or their families. Read more...

Added February 2006:
Five new messages
about shipmates Robert Edward Priest, Len Breakspear, Mr. Dannatt, Charles Frederick Hughes, Rodney Gear Evans and Hugh McGilvray. Plusa, the mystery of HMS Diadem's eventual fate is solved.

Added June 2001:
Images of the ship in Copenhagen harbour taken by Vic Beaman in 1945
An appeal from the son of Ernest Ball, who worked in the engine room

Added May 2001:
Image gallery
Puzzles solved and input from the online community of WWII naval experts