Our cousin Toby Adamson took some pictures of some of the Russian veterans of the Great Patriotic War who came to Tim’s memorial service on May 11 2019. First those images, then one taken by our friend Nigel Palmer, together with some fragments of several of veterans’ stories he gleaned during the reception after the service:
Nigel Palmer, a friend we have known since the 1960s, representing the Palmers of Icomb, took the photo below of the group, with their poster of Tim. But he also quizzed them on their wartime experiences. The stories were extraordinary. As Nigel put it:
“The woman in the cheerful red beret joined the Partisans after her village was surrounded on the second day of the war. She was 12 years old, and served throughout the war behind the lines. She told me that she was the only person in her village who had survived the war. The other lady, as I’m sure you know, although very unlined, was the same age as your father. She came through the siege of Leningrad, 900 days of hunger and cold during which over a million people starved to death.
“The short sailor with the matelot shirt and clear blue eyes, centre-left, was on a motor torpedo boat trying to protect the convoys. At one point there was a slightly chilly breeze, and I asked if he was OK. He ripped open his jacket, showed his bare arms and apparently said ‘when you have been on a motor torpedo boat on the Barents Sea in January, you can never feel cold again.’ Amazing.”