Project aims to preserve memories of men’s perilous supply mission
Wiltshire sailors who took part in one of the most dangerous missions of the Second World War are to have their stories preserved for posterity.
There are 23 servicemen left in the county who served on the Arctic Convoys, delivering essential supplies to the Russians in what Winston Churchill described as “the worst journey in history”.
Now, thanks to a £10,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant, their memories will not be lost.
The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippen-ham is to host an exhibition of the veterans’ experiences on the convoy, based around interviews with the surviving veterans.
A professional historian and volunteers from the Trowbridge branch of the White Ensign Association naval charity will conduct interviews with the men, which will form part of an online exhibition and a drama by a youth theatre group from Salisbury.
Photographic portraits will be taken to create a visual record of the veterans.
Last year all of Wiltshire’s surviving veterans were awarded the Arctic Star medal as recognition for their sacrifice, in a ceremony at County Hall in Trowbridge.
Mervyn Salter, 89, from Corsham, served on the Arctic Convoys from 1942 to 1944. He said: “I was somewhat surprised after all these years that it has come to the fore again, particularly after the Arctic Medal, which was 70 year late.
“There are less than half a dozen of my former shipmates left now. If this is going to be helpful to remind people what went on and in remembering my shipmates and others who lost their lives. I am all for it.”
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