Diamond Medal For HMS Diamond Sailor

Royal Navy sailor Brian Diamond, who serves on board his namesake ship HMS Diamond, has been presented with a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

The chief petty officer was among 12 crew on board the Type 45 destroyer receiving the medals in a ceremony on board the ship at Portsmouth Naval Base on Thursday May 17th.

The 30-year-old marine engineer, who works on the ship's sophisticated propulsion system, said: ''When I joined HMS Diamond, my namesake ship, it raised a few eyebrows.

''But now to receive a diamond jubilee medal in addition to that I feel really proud.

''This is a special time for the whole nation.''

CPO Diamond, originally from Portrush in Northern Ireland, joined the navy 13 years ago and has been with the ship since it was handed over to the fleet from its builder BAE Systems in 2010. He will be among the 190 crew for the ship's maiden operational deployment to the Gulf next month.

CPO Diamond, who lives in Gosport, said his name had led to him being the subject of jokes on board.

He said: ''There has been a lot of stick, I know there has been quite a lot of banter, it's quite embarrassing.

''To get my first medal on board this platform just prior to deployment will be something I will always remember.''

He added jokingly: ''I understand the Queen was too busy today to give me my medal.''

Commander Ian Clarke, commanding officer of HMS Diamond, said:

''When I gave the medals out to the sailors I made the point that the Queen has been serving the country for 60 years.

''It is amazing to think that Winston Churchill, that great figure from history, was her first prime minister.

''That sense of duty is something the armed forces can understand and appreciate and is particularly appropriate in this year when HMS Diamond comes of age with its first deployment next month.''

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal is being awarded to all armed forces personnel with at least five years' service.

Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, said: ''This medal recognises the important and difficult job our armed forces have carried out defending our nation and its interests, both at home and abroad, and it is a fitting tribute to their dedication and professionalism.''

HMS Diamond is the third of the high-tech Type 45 class air defence destroyers, costing #1 billion each, which are being brought into the fleet to replace the ageing Type 42 class warships.

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