The most extraordinary scene in the celebrations of the 65Th Anniversary of VE Day commemorating the end of World War II was the sight of the Welsh Guards marching across Moscow’s Red Square. There were also American and French troops in the parade.
According to Wales Online (10/5), more than 70 soldiers from 1st Battalion Welsh Guards took their place at the historic ceremony, which involved 15,000 troops representing international coalition forces from around the globe.
This was the first parade of its kind in Russian history and marked a departure from recent years when the anniversary of the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany has been an occasion for veiled criticism of the West from Russian leaders. But when the British Prime Minister and the American President indicated they could not attend, Prime Minister Putin refused to accept Prince Charles and the US Vice president as representatives of their countries.
Guardsman Joseph Hurrell, 21, from Cardiff, was among the Welsh Guards to take part in the parade. “It felt great to be here meeting different nations and being a part of something that is really big,” he told Wales Online.“You don’t forget marching on Red Square just because of the scale of the parade and the reason why we are here.
“My grandfather was in the Navy and the Second World War. I definitely feel proud to be here representing my country and him.”
Major Dai Bevan, the company commander, who attended the official function immediately after the parade, told Wales Online : “It was a real privilege."
“To follow the parade and have lunch with the Russian president and other world leaders was an enormous honour and the Welsh Guards are deeply grateful for the hospitality showed to us throughout our trip.”
The report stated that Victory Day Parade, held in temperatures approaching 27°C, saw the Russians put on a formidable show of their military strength with aircraft flying over the Kremlin as 161 tanks and trucks carrying intercontinental ballistic missiles rolled off Red Square.
In the following longer Russian video extract, the Welsh Guards appear after about six and a half minutes.