Letter from Lord Mountbatten to Werner Lott, 1977:
|Korvetten Kapitän a. D. Werner
Your chief Engineer, my old friend, Gerhard Stamer, has written to inform me that you will be celebrating your 70th birthday on the 3rd December.
I am, therefore, writing this letter now with the request that he will deliver it to you on your birthday with my personal best wishes and congratulations.
Gerhard Stamer tells me that it was while you were taken from Glasgow to London in December 1939 that you celebrated your birthday in the train and that the guards provided a bottle of beer at midnight with which to drink your health.
I should like to take the belated opportunity of congratulating you on your magnanimous behaviour when you landed the crew of the Greek ship, DIAMANTIS, in a remote bay in Ireland about the 4th October 1939, at considerable risk. Those were the days when the two navies behaved particularly well to each other and to others at sea during the war.
When Gerhard Stamer delivered your personal letter to me on my 70th birthday I was equally surprised and pleased. Thank you very much for this honour.
The newspaper clippings of the DIAMANTIS case give only the Greek captain’s version of the story. Ours was considerably different.
But on my birthday we talked a good deal about the miracle that we were all saved through the rescue efforts of HMS KINGSTON and KASHMIR. I am not sure whether you know that Commander Somerville had to lower a cutter to pick me up as the last but one because my fingers were too stiff to hold the rope thrown to me from the destroyer. As you said in your letter: "Those were the days ...."
With my personal best wishes for yourself
I am, Sir,