British and Russian veterans pay their respects in Saint Petersburg

At the cemetery in a city where 1.5 million people died, British and Russian veterans arrived to pay their respects. Supplies that arrived from Britain saved many here in Saint Petersburg from starvation. On perhaps their last journey, another historic moment.

Royal Navy veteran Fred Udell said: "It's been overwhelming, I can't get my head around the fact that so many died during the siege here. It's beyond comprehension, and it's a job to come to terms with it."

The men faced incredible hazards, members of Merchant and Royal Navy faced incredible hazards to get here. Evading German U-boats and the Luftwaffe, colossal waves, icebergs and temperatures reaching minus 50.

It was, according to Winston Churchill "the worst journey in the world". More than 70 convoys delivered 4 million tonnes of material to the Soviet Union between 1941 -45.

British and Russian veterans arrived in Sait Petersburg to pay their respects. Credit: ITV London

Russian Navy veteran Yuri Aleksandrovich Putiev said:

It is a great feeling to meet people you met once when you were a young boy, it is great to know that in both countries some of us remain to keep the memories alive. >

Yuri Aleksandrovich Putiev
In Saint Petersburg, a chance - all this time later - to meet Russian counterparts.

Finally, after sampling the local tipple the men - from the London branch of the arctic convoy club - had a sing and dance.

Three thousand kilometres from home in a country indebted to all that they did...

"We got a welcome at the airport like royalty, very proud to be here," Royal Navy veteran Ernie Davis said.

Royal Navy veteran Baden Hall added: "We get a better reception here than when they come to London, it's superb."