Facebook Campaign enables us to measure response and retarget from campaigns we run on Facebook and Instagram

Arctic Convoy memorial

Published on:

13 January 2017

Share this article:

A memorial service to mark the bravery and sacrifice of the veterans of one of World War Two's most dangerous operations is being held at Enfield Civic Centre 20 January at 3pm.

  • Memorial service planned for Arctic Convoy veterans
  • Arctic Convoys played a vital role in supplying Russia's Red Army during World War Two
  • Surviving Arctic Convoy veterans presented a granite memorial to the people of Enfield in 2003

A memorial service to mark the bravery and sacrifice of the veterans of one of World War Two's most dangerous operations is being held at Enfield Civic Centre 20 January at 3pm.

The 71 Arctic Convoys were made up of more than 1,400 merchant ships and delivered essential supplies from ports in Great Britain, the United States of America and Iceland to northern ports in the Soviet Union - primarily Arkhangel and Murmansk between 1941 and 1945.

The service will take place outside Enfield Civic Centre around the granite memorial which was presented to the people of Enfield by surviving Arctic Convoy veterans in 2003.

It honours the brave men and women of Enfield who took part in the perilous journeys in convoys delivering vital food, blankets, medical supplies and weapons to the Russian Red Army fighting against Germany on the Eastern Front.

Churchill described the convoys as "the worst journey in the world" – through submarine-infested water and freezing cold seas.

Eighty Five merchant ships and 16 Royal Navy warships were sunk and hundreds of men died after their convoys came under repeated attack from enemy warships, submarines and aircraft.

In 1944 the Russian Government struck medals for all those who served on the convoys, but it is only recently, more than 70 years later, that these medals were presented.

Cllr Bernadette Lappage, Mayor of Enfield, said: "Those who served on the Arctic Convoys are often the forgotten heroes, but their contribution was vital to the war effort.

"More than four million tons of supplies were delivered to the Russians. As well as tanks and aircraft, these included vital items such as trucks, telephone wire, railway engines and boots.

"The memorial outside our Civic Centre is a wonderful permanent reminder of the sacrifice these men and women made when they crossed some of the most dangerous seas on earth where one fall into such waters would result in a rapid death. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude."

Representatives from the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy, local Royal British Legions and Cadet Forces are attending the ceremony.