Remembering the Arctic Convoys

The HLF funded Arctic Convoy project collected oral histories from the surviving convoy veterans in Wiltshire. We also worked with local schools encouraging students to make short films to accompany audio clips which were taken from the more lengthy oral history recordings. In these audio and video clips the veterans recall their daily lives on board ship, fighting the elements as well as the enemy, and the grim reality of war at sea.


The sinking of the Scharnhorst

(This audio clip is temporarily unavailable.)

This is the story of Arthur Ayres and his own experience of the night of the 26th December 1943. He was a stoker aboard the cruiser HMS Norfolk when his ship, and a large Royal Navy force, engaged the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst off the north coast of Norway. The action became known as the Battle of North Cape and effectively ended the threat of German naval vessels to the arctic convoys heading to and from Russia.

Life on Board the Arctic Convoys

2 Arctic convoy veterans, Denis Pickett and Nelson Foyle remember life on board the Arctic Convoy ships, music, games and camaraderie.


Arctic Convoy Repatriates Russian Prisoners of War

Arctic Convoy Veteran George Wells remembers escorting Russian POWs back to Russia and reflects on the fate that awaited them in the gulags


PQ17 order to scatter

Arctic Convoy veteran, Admiral O'Brien recalls the time when as signal officer he received the controversial order to scatter the escort ships sailing with PQ17 to Russia.







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