The Russian Convoy Club
Armed Forces Day
These are the real guys in the white hats, they were men who served at sea in the Russian Convoys between 1941 and 1945 helping the supply of materials exchanged between the Allied forces of the west and Russia in the Second World War. Their losses were heavy and more men from South Shields lost their lives at sea during the second great war than from any other town in the UK. They made regular journeys from UK and foreign ports via Scapa Flow to Murmansk and Archangel to keep Russia supplied with vital materials to continue her war effort, but their losses were heavy and arduous, 2800 lives were lost in the 78 convoys and over 100 ships ended their voyages at the bottom of the oceans as victims of German U-boats and surface ships.
The Russian Convoy Club have taken to wearing a white beret with badge to signify their participation in the vital logistics operation that sustained the Allied efforts.
On the left is Bob Robertson and his wife, and on the right George Nicols and his wife: I was honoured to meet them as they convened for a special service to mark Armed Forces Day on the steps of South Shields Town Hall yesterday, men such as these inspire the pride and remembrance in both our armed forces and the merchant fleet which protected our threatened democracy during those dark days. We should never forget the impact of their lives’ work and the lessons of history which flow from it.
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 46 mm lens, 1/350 second, f4, iso 200