- This event has passed.
Arctic Convoys weekend in Cambridge Day 1
December 15, 18:30 - 20:00| Free
Memorial Evening of James (Jimmy) Pitts and the Club of Arctic Convoys
We are delighted to welcome a group of Arctic Convoy veterans from all over the UK and even two from Canada, who are now over 90 years old and have many fascinating stories to tell.
Diana Pitts, Jimmy’s widow, will talk about her late husband’s journeys to Russia and wartime experience. She used to be the Secretary of the Arctic Convoy Club for the last four years, before its closure earlier in 2017, after Jimmy’s death.
About Jimmy Pitts: Over 75 years ago, on the day before his 18th birthday, Jimmy walked into a recruiting office and signed on as a Telegraphist Air-Gunner in the Fleet Air Arm… He survived three plane crashes, lost his best friend in a tragic wartime accident and fought the Nazis in the skies over the Norwegian fjords. Then Jimmy was sent on what Winston Churchill described as the “worst journey in the world” – through the unforgiving Arctic waters on the Russian Convoys. These convoys delivering vital supplies to the Soviet Union were relentlessly attacked by U-boats and planes, causing immense loss of life, and Jimmy took part in the final sea battle of the Second World War.
Jimmy Pitts wrote an incredible book about his war experience: “To Russia … and Back: An Ordinary Man’s Extraordinary Journey”. With self-depreciation, modesty and humour, it gives a fascinating account of how a naive young man faced up to extraordinary circumstances beyond the comprehension of most people at a pivotal time in the world’s history. In recent years, Jimmy, at the age of 89, returned to Russia to carry the Olympic Flame for the Sochi Winter Olympics and to present the Arctic Star Medal that he had campaigned for to a major war museum in Moscow.
“The only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril.”
– Winston Churchill
Read more about the book here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Russia-Back-Ordinary-Extraordinary-Journey-ebook/dp/B00X2GXVPA )
Followed by a wine reception