Hi Guys, just got home from a few days in London in order to attend Victory Day May 9th celebrations.
Our day started early, ensuring uniforms were pressed and boots polished. Our first event was at the Soviet War Memorial next door to the IWM. Myself and two comrades from 2nd Guards laid a wreath in memory of the fallen. It is pretty nerve racking marching in front of so many VIP's. But all went well. All the embassies of the former Soviet Union were in attendance as well as many veterans including a group of vets of the Great Patriotic War flown in specially from Russia. We also met up with veteran friends from the Arctic Convoy Club.
The Russian Embassy in the UK have some photos and video of the event on their website, and I feature in pics and video:
Victory Day celebrated in London
Interview with living history group 2nd Guards Rifle Division
After food and drinks care of Embassies, we headed off to the Thames, where we accompanied the Vets on a cruise down the river. A VERY nice touch was the opening of Tower Bridge (not done very often) simply to salute the Vets!
More pics here:
2012 – HMS Belfast | Victory Day London
After the river cruise we boarded HMS Belfast for a private reception. After a pleasant couple of hours on the ship we moved to the riverside venue for a gala concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra who played the 1812 Overture with live (blank) cannon fire provided by HMS Belfast. The day was finished off with the Vets at the pub!
My friend Keith Nisbet from Normandy 44 living history group kindly took lots of pics for the days events:
» Victory Day 2012 KEITH NISBET PHOTOGRAPHY
Last night we attended the Bloomsbury Theatre by very kind invitation of the Belarus Ambassador to see a special cultural event of ballet & opera. A first for 2nd Guards at a high cultural event! We really enjoyed it too.
Also see here: for the Russian Language newspaper in the UK "Angliya" as both Victory Day and a special feature about our group can be seen.
Angliya - Russian Weekly Newspaper