THE commissioning of the new HMS Diamond fell shortly after the 70th anniversary of the sinking of its namesake during the Second World War.
Diamond, a D-class destroyer built for the Royal Navy in the early 1930s, was sunk by German aircraft on April 27, 1941 while evacuating Allied troops from Greece.
She and another destroyer, Wryneck, had been sent to rescue more than 500 troops from the sinking Dutch troopship, Slamat, 20 nautical miles east of Cape Maleas, Greece.
The Allied ships had set out for Crete when four hours later they were attacked by German warplanes and sunk.
Only one officer, 41 enlisted men and eight soldiers from all three ships were rescued. Diamond lost 148 men in the tragedy.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony yesterday, the captain of the new Diamond, Commander Ian Clarke, said: ‘Remember the courage of the men who went before you.
‘We have a golden line and that can be seen in the battle honours Diamond has. That will continue with this ship’s company and the ship’s companies that follow us.’
The current HMS Diamond is the 12th Royal Navy warship known to carry the name.
The first was a 50-gun ship launched at Deptford in 1652 and captured by France in 1693.