Sevastopol, October 8, 2015
On October 7, 2015, UK “Arctic sea convoys” veterans Ernest Davis, William Bannerman and Seymour Taylor met with the leaders of the Crimea and Sevastopol along with the Second World War veterans at the Government house of Sevastopol.
After the meeting the veterans, accompanied by the Guard of Honor and the Black Sea Fleet military band, placed flowers on the Memorial to the heroic defense of Sevastopol in 1941-1942.
Then the veterans, accompanied by cleric of the St. Vladimir’s Cathedral in the Chersonese Priest Alexander Grigoryev, visited the Church of the Holy Archangel Michael that had been built in 1849 on the initiative of Commander of the Black Sea Fleet Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev (1788-1851); this church is inseparably linked to the history of Sevastopol and the Navy, reports the Sevastopol Deanery’s website.
In the church Archpriest Alexander Bondarenko greeted the guests, and told them about the history of the church and its shrines: “Today this is the main garrison church of the Black Sea Fleet. Icons with portions of relics of the Russian Navy’s patron-saints – the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called, Holy and Righteous Admiral Fyodor (Theodore) Ushakov and the Holy Greatmartyr George the Victory-Bearer - are kept here. For each soldier these are the special names which enable us to find faith and spiritual strength for the defense of our motherland.”
The guests venerated the shrines after which Fr. Alexander presented each veteran with an icon of the Holy and Righteous Warrior Fyodor Ushakov as memento.
“Arctic convoys” went from 1941 till 1945 from Britain and the USA to the northern ports of USSR – Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. The vessels delivered important military hardware and materials to the Soviet Union (the so-called “lend-lease supplies”). During the “Arctic convoys” 85 merchant vessels and 16 Royal Navy warships were lost.