One of Britain’s Most Unusual War Memorials Renovated by Russians & Finns.
Article By Jasper Copping of the Daily Telegraph. (25.9.2013)
It stands testimony to one of the most obscure of British military adventures as well as the country’s humane treatment of enemy prisoners of war, but after years of neglect, it had fallen into disrepair.
Now, though, a war memorial in a Sussex churchyard has been renovated after a fundraising campaign in Finland and Russia, whose ambassadors are due to attend an unveiling ceremony this weekend.
The monument, in Lewes, is dedicated to the 28 men from the countries who died in captivity in the local prison, after being captured when the British attacked an island in the Baltic during the Crimean War.
In terms of that conflict, the incident was something of a sideshow, taking place more than 1,000 miles from main theatre of fighting, on the Crimean peninsula, in the Black Sea.
The Åland Islands, between Sweden and Finland, were controlled by Russia at the time and the British were worried about the threat posed by the country’s Baltic fleet, which could use the archipelago.