Tenby veteran's moving salute to lost shipmates at Last Night of the Proms
11:00am Sunday 15th September 2013 in County News
ACTIC Convoy veteran John Farrow has given a proud salute at the Last Night of the Proms to honour his fallen comrades.
John, aged 92, is believed to be the last surviving sailor from HMS Trinidad, whose official march was given its UK premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in the closing minutes of the Proms.
As the Western Telegraph recently reported, John, of Tenby, was a gunner on board the ship when it torpedoed itself, with the loss of 32 lives, in 1942.
He was recently one of 39 veterans from the Russian Convoy Veterans Association to be presented with their Arctic Star medals.
John and his son Stuart were the guests of the Admiralty and the BBC at the Last Night of the Proms, and John decided that he would don his white beret and stand to salute when the HMS Trinidad march was played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, to mark the centenary of its composer, George Lloyd.
“Dad felt it was a fitting gesture of respect to the shipmates he had lost, and that it was also making a statement for the recognition of the Arctic Convoy veterans and getting the message out about the work of the Arctic Convoy museum ,” said Stuart afterwards.
“He stood there saluting for at least three and a half minutes. It was remarkable to see, and very moving.
“Dad was delighted with the evening - he was buzzing afterwards, and as we were leaving, quite a few people came up and congratulated him for what he did.”
Amongst the many who appreciated John’s gesture was proms chief Roger Wright, who confessed he shed a tear, while writing in The Times about the evening, Richard Morris commented: “What touched me most, however, was watching an old sailor in the audience stand up and salute….Heavens knows that tragic memories were going through the sailor’s mind during the incongruously jaunty music.”
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