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9 May 2012 became a very special and memorable one for British and Russian Second World War veterans, Londoners and visitors to the capital.

Tchaikovsky's masterpiece, the 1812 Overture, was performed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and accompanied by live cannons salute from HMS Belfast during the open to the Public at no cost concert in Hay’s Galleria, near London Bridge.

Earlier that day the Tower Bridge was raised in honour of the Arctic Convoys as William-B boat passed under the bridge with the veterans onboard preceeding a privately held ceremony that took place on HMS Belfast, where British veterans of Arctic convoys, joined by their friends veterans from Russia, paid tribute to their shipmates with traditional toasts ‘Up Spirits!’ with Pusser’s Rum and ‘To Victory!’ with Russian Standard Vodka. The ceremony was attended by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, the Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko, Lord Alan West, Rear Admiral John Gower...

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