HMS Diadem
HMS Diadem

the diary of signalman John Emrys Williams

Leslie Garrett

The Bognor Regis Times carried this story on 3 June 2014 about Les Garrett, aged 87, former HMS Diadem gunner. It's a remarkable story as there can't be many former Diadem shipmates still alive. I'm writing this on the eve of the 70th anniversaty of the Normandy Landings and I feel quite moved as I read Les's 2014 first-hand account of what happened:

"Les 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.

He lifted the cordite charge from the magazine hoist and to the tray behind the highly explosive shell before the charge and shell were thrust into the gun behind.

He and his shipmates went 52 hours without sleep as they trained their gun on German ships up to 13.5 miles away or at Nazi aircraft 25,000-35,000ft in the air.

"The light cruiser fired 3,826 shells between June 6 and 29 and survived an attack by six enemy aircraft at 11pm on D-Day."

Picture: Allan Hutchings (141333-441) PPP-140705-231844003

reproduced from this web address: where you can read the full story



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