‘Buster’ Crabb remembered – six decades on

Relatives of Commander Lionel Crabb pictured at the  grave. Glenys Hammond (cousin) John Bevan, Clare Harris ( God daughter), Charleen Miller (cousin)

Relatives of Commander Lionel Crabb pictured at the grave. Glenys Hammond (cousin) John Bevan, Clare Harris ( God daughter), Charleen Miller (cousin)

Dolly and Cyril today.

Former Portsmouth signalman meets girl he saved from certain death after 46 years

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Last Tuesday some of the remaining family plus author John Bevan paid tribute to Commander Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabb who disappeared when diving under a Russian cruiser in Portsmouth Dockyard 60 years ago.

There are many stories and theories attached to his disappearance and The News and I have reported on it many times.

Commander Lionel Crabb

Commander Lionel Crabb

Suffice to say, the truth will not be known until 2056 as all the papers about this mysterious event have been kept closed by successive governments.

Two members of Crabb’s family from his mother’s side and a god-daughter turned up at Milton Cemetery, Portsmouth, along with John Bevan who has written extensively on the disappearance and is the patron of the diving museum at Lee-on-the-Solent.

I spoke to the three women who arrived for the wreath-laying and they all agreed that with modern DNA technology the body should be exhumed and tested to see if it is in fact Commander Crabb who lies in Milton Cemetery.

‘We have not been able to have closure of our cousin,’ they agreed. ‘It would be a good idea to exhume the remains to see if it is indeed Lionel who lies here.’

Whether this would ever be agreed to by the courts is debatable, but for the foreseeable future, the grave is dedicated to Commander Lionel Crabb.

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