“Arctic Star” l is a medal that is awarded for any length of service above the Arctic Circle by members of the British Armed Forces and the Merchant Navy. During the World War II ships of the UK and the USA delivered food, weapons and equipment to the USSR to help the eastern front.
One of “Arctic Star” medals had been recently awarded to the British Navy veteran James Pitts. Soon an idea appeared to present this medal to the Russian museum as a tribute to brave Soviet soldiers and officers. On the 30th of November the British veterans who participated in the northern convoys arrived in Moscow to convey the “Arctic Star” for eternal storage in the museum of the Great Patriotic War on Poklonnaya Hill.
The solemn ceremony was attended by veterans of the Arctic convoys from Russia and the UK. Among them were some friends of the Northern (Arctic) Federal University, who had been to Arkhangelsk and met with students of NArFU: James Pitts, James Wells, Ernest Davis, Frank Bond. All these people live in the United Kingdom.
The “Arctic Star” took pride of place in the Museum of the great Patriotic War.
“Russian sailors deserved this award. I gave my “Arctic Star” for the next generation of Russian people to remember the heroism of their ancestors. I hope that my grandchildren will be able to come to Russia and see my medal”, - said James Pitts to the journalists.
89-year-old James Pitts visited Arkhangelsk in November this year. He took part in the Olympic torch relay. The veteran also visited the British Centre of NArFU and talked with the students.
Director of the British Centre of NArFU Valentine Golysheva was invited to the ceremony on Poklonnaya Hill. James Pitts showed her the letter of thanks that he had received from the British Ambassador to Moscow Tim Barrow:“Dear James Pitts, I wanted to give you best wishes and to express my gratitude for your participation in the Olympic relay race on November in Arkhangelsk…”