Arctic sea mission marked 75 years on

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Arctic Convoy 75th anniversary. Pic by Gabriella Sanghera © JMU Journalism

Arctic Convoy 75th anniversary. Pic by Gabriella Sanghera © JMU Journalism

The 75th anniversary of the Arctic Convoys was marked in Liverpool today with special events to honour those who took part in the World War II naval mission.

Veterans and their families were invited to attend a reception at the Town Hall followed by a tour of the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Dragon, which is currently moored at Liverpool cruise terminal.

Defence Minister Lord Howe, the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones, and the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Roz Gladden were all in attendance.

October marks 75 years since the first Arctic Convoy set sail from Britain and arrived in Arkhangelsk, Russia, carrying vital supplies for the war effort on the Eastern Front.

The reception, hosted by the Ministry of Defence, with Liverpool City Council and The Royal British Legion, also included a marching and drum performance by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Plymouth.

YouTube: JMU Journalism

Royal Navy Commander, Nick Chatwin, told JMU Journalism: “Today has been perfect because it’s been 75 years. Most of the veterans here were only 19 or 20 years’ old at the time, so really young boys were on the ships and went right up to Russia to what [Winston] Churchill called ‘the worst journey in the world’.

“One in 20 ships were lost, so to have a service to mark that particular campaign was really important because it was part of our part of our maritime history.”

YouTube: Critical Past

About Gabriella Sanghera, JMU Journalism