Highlands & Islands

New festival to recall World War Two Arctic Convoys

Spitfire Image copyright Handout
Image caption Full-size replicas of a Spitfire and a Messerschmitt will be features of the new festival

A new festival will recall World War Two's Arctic Convoys that operated from a loch in the Scottish Highlands.

Allied ships sailed from Loch Ewe, near Poolewe in Wester Ross, to Russia with supplies of food and weapons to help it fight invading German forces.

The Loch Ewe World War Two Festival on 6-7 May will mark 75 years since the first of those convoys.

Veterans of the convoys and representatives from Russia and the USA are to attend the festival's events.

These will include a memorial service at Rubha Nan Sasan at the head of Loch Ewe and the site of defences during the war.

Military re-enactments are to be held in Loch Ewe and at nearby Aultbea, featuring a Soviet-era T34 tank and full-size replicas of a RAF Spitfire and German Messerschmitt fighter planes.

Image copyright Handout
Image caption A T34 tank is to make an appearance at May's Loch Ewe World War Two Festival

A Russian sail training ship, Yuny Baltiets, is also visit to loch with its crew and about 40 Russian sea cadets.

The Arctic Convoys, which also operated from the Clyde in Scotland and Iceland, involved Britain's Merchant Navy along with Russian, US, Canadian, Norwegian and Dutch merchant fleets.

More than 3,000 seamen lost their lives to the freezing conditions and attacks by German submarines and aircraft.