Article 163

“Arctic convoy veteran receives hero’s welcome aboard Russian missile cruiser”

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The Russian people have always been very appreciative of the immense sacrifices made by the men who participated and risked their lives in the Atlantic and Arctic Convoys.

This was evident from the reaction of Officers and Sailors when Arctic convoy veteran Mr Joseph Wilkinson (94) visited Marshal Ustinov, a Russian missile cruiser that was visiting Cape Town in November 2019. They immediately recognised the medals he wore on his chest. They greeted him with respectful nods and friendly smiles, and some even approached to shake his hand.

Captain 1st Rank Vladimir V. Kuzmin graciously welcomed Mr Wilkinson onboard his ship and expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Russian people for the role he had played in the Arctic convoys.

The visit had been arranged thanks to the close cooperation of Consul Dmitry Polyansky from the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Cape Town and Russian Compatriots South Africa. Mr Wilkinson was accompanied by his daughter Michele and Dr Elina Komarova-Tagar, a member of the Russian Club Cape Town and friend of the family.

I was delighted to be present during this visit, and that I was able to capture some beautiful memories with my camera.

Published in the Navy News of February-March 2021.