From Russia with love for Pathhead relatives of Arctic Convoy hero
Two women from Pathhead were in the 1.3 million strong crowd in Moscow for the Immortal Regiment march held earlier this month.
The procession sees people carrying flowers and portraits of loved-ones who took part in World War Two.
Pamela Hunter (55) and her niece Zara Habberley (31) were there to remember Pamela’s father John Burns, who took part in the Russian Arctic Convoys during the war for the Royal Navy.
She said: “Our hosts from the Immortal Regiment were incredible. We were given a placard with a picture of my dad in his Russian Arctic Convoy Uniform .
“We were given VIP passes into Red Square before the parade began. We were placed on the podium for VIP guests along with the Russian veterans from WW2 . With Saltire in hand we waved and cheered and remembered my dad and all the other WW2 Russian Convoy veterans, and the men and women who sacrificed their lives for us all.
“We were part of the event with the whole march walking past. I have a knee injury and was unable to walk on the march, so they gave us VIP passes with our own translator and ‘protector’ to ensure we were taken care off.
“How proud my dad would be. It truly was a surreal experience. We were also given a private tour of The Kremlin!”
Pamela explained more about the Arctic Convoys: “The Russian people were starving, running out of food and weaponry. They needed supplies to help defeat the Germans, and Churchill decided to send the convoys up past Norway in freezing waters.
“The convoys left from Loch Ewe, Wester Ross and Orkney. The ships were targeted by German U-boats and enemy aircraft. Churchill called them suicide missions, 3000 lost their lives. If a ship was torpedoed the men would perish in the freezing waters as the convoys could not stop to pick the men up.
“The Russians have and continue to be forever grateful to those men of the Russian Arctic Convoys. Their missions are told in schools all over Russia. As family members we are the sons and daughters of those heroes.”