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A group of surviving British veterans of the Arctic Convoys presented the Arctic Star medal to Russia’s Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War in Moscow.
A group of surviving British veterans of the Arctic Convoys (1941-1945), all members of the Russian Convoys Club, launched in 1985 by the Royal British Legion, have initiated an unprecedented gesture to present the Arctic Star medal to Russia’s Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War in Moscow.
The Arctic Star began its journey from HMS Belfast on Nov. 5 in the presence of the veterans, the former First Sea Lord Admiral Lord Alan West, Simon Hughes MP for Southwark, the Directors of London’s Imperial War Museums and officials from the Russian Embassy; from there it was taken by sea to St. Petersburg on board the container ship Linda, whose captain handed it over to the Russian company Containerships SPb. Its Deputy Director General Vladimir Evstafiev delivered the medal to the British Consulate-General where the British Naval Attache David Fields accepted the Arctic Star medal in the presence of HM Consul-General Keith Allan and a small group of Russian Arctic convoy veterans on Nov. 14. The Star remained in British custody until the arrival of British veterans in Moscow on Nov. 28.
The Arctic Star’s voyage from HMS Belfast in London to St. Petersburg is code-named CG in memory of Commander Eddie Grenfell — the veteran who for sixteen years led the campaign for the issue of the Arctic Star Medal in the UK.
The official presentation of the Arctic Star took place on Nov. 29 in the Grand Hall of the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War in Moscow. The British veterans presented the Star to the Curator of the museum, which was followed by a concert. Then the British veterans were taken on an excursion around Moscow, with further greetings and hospitality from Russian comrades along the way.
Pictures from the event can be found here.