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  Tuesday, August 20, 2019
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Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, laid flowers at the tombs of the British seamen
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, laid flowers at the tombs of the British seamen who died while delivering food and arms to the former Soviet Union along the Northern Sea Routes during WWII. Many of them were buried at the Allied Cemetery in Murmansk, the unfreezing port on the Cola Bay in Russia's northwest. The ceremony was also attended by Sir Alan West, the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, and about 300 British polar convoy veterans now members of Britain's Northern Russia and Russian Convoys clubs, former crewmen of the British Southerland destroyer, and representatives of the Allied Forces. The British delegation arrived in Murmansk on May 8 to mark the 60th anniversary of Nazi Germany's surrender. Nearly 3,000 British seamen died in the wartime polar convoys, several dozen of them were buried in Murmansk, according to a Murmansk administration official. The veterans and Prince Andrew opened the remembrance ceremony by singing the British anthem to the accompaniment of Russia's Northern Fleet orchestra. The chaplain of the Southerland conducted a religious service of remembrance. He said it was important that good relations the British and Russian sailors developed during the war should be passed on to future generations. Prince Andrew, the veterans, and other members of the British delegation sang a few hymns in memory of the fallen seamen, observed a minute's silence, and laid wreaths and flowers at the tombs. The Duke of York spent half an hour talking to his fellow countrymen. Later in the day, they arrived at Severomorsk, the Russian Northern Fleet's main base. They laid flowers at the tombs of eight British pilots buried there. Prince Andrew then visited the K-21 submarine that destroyed the Nazi Tirpitz battleship during WWII. The reception by Northern Fleet Commander Mikhail Abramov on board the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky will end the British delegation's visit to Severomorsk. On Wednesday, Prince Andrew is expected to visit the Nerpa shipbuilding yards that are disposing of a Viktor-class submarine, the project being funded by Britain under the G-8 Global Partnership Program
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