Saturday, November 13, 2010

London Soviet War Memorial

Soviet War Memorial,
Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, Kennington, London

The memorial was built in 1999 to recognise Anglo-Soviet cooperation during the Second World War.

The Soviet Union lost an estimate 26.6 million
citizens fighting fascism and took on the brunt of the German war machine. While America remained neutral.

Eighteen Soviet soldiers were laid to rest in British cemeteries during the war, along with 400 Soviet prisoners of war in the Channel Islands.

The memorial was unveiled on 9 May 1999 by the British Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon George Robertson, MP, and HE the Russian Ambassador, Yuri Fokine, in the presence of HRH the Duke of Kent. This was a major inter-governmental event in which veterans and other organisations from Britain and the former Soviet Union participated.

The memorial was designed by Russian sculptor Sergei Shcherbakov. The granite memorial tablet was made by British stonemason Gary Breeze.

A former Russian footballer and fans of his club, Spartak Moscow, laid a wreath at the Soviet War Memorial 3 November 2010 ahead of a Champions League game with Chelsea.

Dimitri Alenichev, a midfielder who played for the side until 2006, said:

“It is a great honour to be at this ceremony in memory of those people who showed extreme courage and heroism and those who gave up their lives for us. We should never forget what those people did and keep their memory in our hearts forever.”