HMS Diadem
HMS Diadem

the diary of signalman John Emrys Williams

CPO William Arthur Baker and the Kreigsmarine Flag
I've been corresponding recently with Tony Baker, who said:

"My late father, William Arthur Baker, was a CPO on HMS Diadem, He was onboard at Biscay, D-Day, convoy escorts and the visit to Copenhagen. I have a large Kreigsmarine Nazi flag, which he brought back. He said it flew over a German naval base in Norway. Would you have an idea which base this would have been from HMS Diadem’s ports of call after Copenhagen? I intend to give the flag to a museum.

"I have attached a picture. It measures 65” x 35”. My late father was a shipwright and kept it in his toolbox until he retired in 1974! He joined up in 1940 and would have stayed on for longer if let be. He wrote a daily diary but some of the war years are missing, possible embargo? I think a lot of the sailors had love affairs with the girls at Copenhagen from some letters I found!!!

"I also attach a copy of my father’s R.N. records. He was a “Joiner 3rd Class”, whilst serving on HMS Diadem. He was onboard for just over 2 years. I wrote to U-Boat story about the flag but did not even have an acknowledgement! I will try a museum in Norway. There is of course a big Naval Museum in Portsmouth Dockyard. The records show he received a share of “The Naval Prize Fund” in August 1945. I presume this was from captured enemy vessels?"

- Tony Baker 2011

Here are the two photos Tony sent, reproduced with his permission:

HMS Diadem in Copenhagen harbour May 1945. Photo 1 of 2 by Vic Beaman. Reproduced with permission of Vic's son, Bryan Beaman.

HMS Diadem in Copenhagen harbour May 1945. Photo 2 of 2 by Vic Beaman. Reproduced with permission of Vic's son, Bryan Beaman.


I did some digging for Tony re the movements of Diadem after Copenhagen. I think the ship berthed there twice and went to Oslo in between:

23 June 1945 Copenhagen > on to Oslo
28 June 1945 Copenhagen longer term, deployed as guard ship

Here's a photo of one German flag flying over a naval base in Oslo:

I wonder if this is the same one that Tony's father brought home?

Update November 2011:

Tony's written back since this article was published to ask whether or not HMS Diadem's and HMS Belladonna's crew took part in the actual Victory parade in Oslo in June 1945. He's trying to put together some information to go with the flag which he has kindly donated to the The Norwegian Maritime Museum in Oslo.

Research sources:



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