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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 25.09.2018, 02:45

Latvia to remember French, British, Irish seamen fallen in 1919 freedom battles

BC, Riga, 18.10.2017.Print version

A commemorative event is to be held by a memorial at Daugavgriva docks in Riga this Wednesday, October 18, to honor the French, British and Irish seamen fallen for Latvia's freedom in 1919, LETA was told at the Latvian Defense Ministry.

Attending the commemorative event will be Latvian Defense Ministry parliamentary secretary Viesturs Silenieks (Greens/Farmers), Latvian Naval Forces Commander Admiral Ingus Vizulis, British Ambassador to Latvia Keith Shannon, French Ambassador to Latvia Odile Soupison and Irish Ambassadors to Latvia James Hennesy, as well as other guests.

The ceremony will include a flower-laying ceremony and commemoration prayers by the chief of chaplains of the Latvian National Armed Forces. After that, a wreath will be lowered into the sea from a patrol boat to honor the memory of the fallen seamen.

In November 1918 when the Republic of Latvia first proclaimed independence, allied countries Britain and France undertook military assistance for the newly established Baltic state, including involvement in any necessary military operations. This assistance turned out especially crucial in November 1919 when the young country was under threat by German and Russian monarchist troops led by Gen. Bermont-Avalov.

At this time a British and French naval squadron made up of British vessels was stationed in the River Daugava estuary. The battles for Riga lasting from October 15 to November 11 did not end without casualties: the cruiser Dragon lost nine of its crew with four injured and the destroyer Venturous came out with two injured.

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