Arctic convoy heroes to be honoured

A SPECIAL ceremony is being arranged to honour the crews of the merchant ship which ran the gauntlet of the Russian Arctic convoys in World War11.
The occasion will mark the 70th anniversary of those who battled through one of the most prolonged and bitter campaigns of the war.
Code-named “Operation Dervish”, the legendary Arctic Convoys of World War II carried vital supplies to the northern Russian ports of Murmansk and Archangel from September 1941 until December 1944. In September 1942 the convoy of merchant ships accompanied by Royal Naval protection vessels assembled at Loch Ewe in Wester Ross. This base was classified a `safer option’ as it was a deep water north facing inlet tucked away in a remote location far from the main naval base at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys. Loch Ewe continued to be used for marshalling convoys of vital supplies for the Russian allies for the duration of the war.
The route the convoys took was particularly hazardous not only due to the horrendous weather and the dangers of drifting icebergs, but also because of the close proximity of German forces who had occupied Norway. Winston Churchill called it “the worst journey in the world.”
During the campaign over 3,000 seamen perished in the polar waters.
On a remote hillside spot overlooking the mouth of Loch Ewe a memorial has been erected to commemorate those who lost their lives. It is at this quiet picturesque place that a 70th anniversary service will take place on Saturday 20th August. Taking part will be veterans from across the UK and other parts of the world. They will be joined by representatives from the Russian and Norwegian embassies, the Royal Navy, and other dignitaries as well as people from the local communities.
Following the outdoor service, there will be an opportunity for guests to meet and share memories with local people who played a role on the ground during the campaign. Also as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum project will be launching their fund raising campaign for a museum. This will create a lasting legacy in a remote local area of the Highlands which played such a significant role 70 years ago.
Anyone wishing to come along to the memorial service or who would like to find out more about the Arctic Convoy Museum project should contact Francis Russell on 01445 731093 or e-mail