Monument outside Balaclava could become a place of pilgrimage for the British and a symbol of reconciliation between the two countries
Author: Nataliya Kiryuhina, no comments
The British daily The Times claims that in Sevastopol the graves of the British who died in the Crimean War have been desecrated, exploited and forgotten, and a care fund set up by activists in the UK had to close in 2014.
Indeed, no one was taking care of the graves of British soldiers – there are several of them on the peninsula – or other Crimean War-related sites when Crimea was part of Ukraine.
In the late 1990s, a memorial was erected on Cathcart’s Hill named after an English general, with the money of British servicemen. Prince Charles attended the unveiling ceremony.
The construction was led by an unscrupulous official from the Sevastopol administration, which was then part of Ukraine, who was careless about the project.
As a result, the sculpture complex, for which the British raised substantial amount of money, fell apart a year later, and now we are where we are.
Back then, the British directed all their accusations at the official in charge of the project referring to him as a “Ukrainian con man.” Since 2014, all of a sudden, Russia, which had nothing to do with that story, has suddenly become the responsible party.
In the early 2000s, another more modest obelisk was erected several kilometers away from Cathcart’s Hill near the village of Dergachi outside Sevastopol, where several surviving authentic gravestones from the collapsed memorial were moved.
Crimea is home to several major mass burial grounds of British troops.
Large cemeteries were lost during the Great Patriotic War. They were destroyed by artillery and air strikes in 1941-1942. The land on Cathcart’s Hill looks as if it was plowed.
There is a monument on the grave of the officers of the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusilier Regiment on the Battlefield of Almina, which is properly kept.
The Crimean War has left an indelible mark on the history of Russia and Great Britain.
British people wishing to go to Crimea are not encouraged by official London. However, if you ask those who dare to break the unspoken ban what they would like to see in Crimea in the first place, they would say the burial sites of British soldiers and the site of the infamous British cavalry attack on Russian canons.
At present, there is no monument at this site.
The monument near Balaclava could become a place of pilgrimage for the British and a symbol of reconciliation between the two countries.
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