Record detail

Full Name
Arthur Ernest Diehl
Rank Last Held
Able Seaman
Arthur Ernest
World War II, 1939-1945
Serial No.
Embarkation Unit
Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve
Last Unit Served
RoyalNew Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve
Place of Death
Date of Death
19 December 1941
Age at Death
Year of Death
Cause of Death
Killed in action
Memorial Name
New Zealand Naval Memorial, Devonport Naval Base, HMNZS Philomel, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand
Memorial Reference
Panel 10
Biographical Notes
Arthur Diehl was the son of Alfred Emil and Gertrude Victoria Diehl (nee Stow) of Linwood, Christchurch. He died when his ship, HMS Neptune, hit several mines in the sea off Tripoli and sank in December 1941.
Description of Image
  • New Zealand Naval Memorial, Devonport, Panel 10: Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve - Leading Seamen, Able Seamen Alder - Forsyth (digital photo John Halpin 2011)
  • New Zealand Naval Memorial, Devonport and garden, detail (digital photo John Halpin 2011)
  • New Zealand Naval Memorial, Devonport and garden (digital photo John Halpin 2011)
Additional Information
  • Neptune's Legacy by Nixie Taverner
  • HMS Neptune was launched at Portsmouth on 31 January 1933. She was one of five 'Leander' class light cruisers completed between 1933 and 1935. Two others were HMS Achilles and Leander serving in the RNZN. They displaced 7,200 tons, could make 32 knots and carried eight 6 inch guns and 550 crew.
  • The Neptune was in the Mediterranean from 1 December 1941 as part of Force K which was searching for Axis shipping, especially those taking supplies to Rommel in North Africa. Early on the 19th the ships of Force K ran into a minefield. The Neptune hit three or four mines and sank with only one survivor. At the same time the Aurora was badly damaged and Penelope slightly. Trying to reach Neptune to assist, the destroyer Kandahar was mined and had to be scuttled the following day. On the same day in Alexandria harbour the Queen Elizabeth with Admiral Cunningham on board and the Valiant were both badly damaged and sank. The Mediterranean Fleet battle squadron ceased to exist.
  • Of the total crew of 766 there was only one survivor. He was rescued off a raft five days later by an Italian destroyer and spent the rest of the war in a prisoner of war camp. | Auckland Museum