Voices from Russia

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Russia to Honour Horwich World War Two Veteran Canon Colin Craston for Arctic Convoy Service

00 brit WW2 vet 02. UK. 04.10.14

Canon Craston in World War II as a Royal Navy rating


00 brit WW2 vet 01. UK. 04.10.14

Canon Craston today


A 91-year-old World War II veteran will be honoured for his bravery… by the Russians. Canon Colin Craston, of Lever Park Avenue, Horwich, will receive a medal from the Russian Federation for his service in Arctic convoys. The medal, with the presentation at Manchester Town Hall on 13 October, is to recognise his work as a wireless telegraphist on HMS Eclipse, an E-class destroyer of the Royal Navy, from March 1942 to March 1943. Canon Craston, a great-grandfather, received eight medals over the years recognising his Navy service, but next month’s event will mark the first time he’s ever personally received a medal. He said, “I’m very, very pleased to be receiving this medal… it’s a great privilege. I’ve heard for a long time that the Russians wanted to honour those who served in the convoys and I look forward to being given a medal in person. I remember my war years well. There were dreadful weather conditions along the way… ice, gale storms, you name it. I appreciated the experience… it was very interesting”.

Canon Craston sailed from Iceland to Russia in the destroyer, but his captain sent him ashore, as he’d been selected for a commission. Seven months after he left the destroyer, it sank in the Aegean Sea east of Kalymnos, Greece, killing 119 of the 145 crew members on-board. Canon Craston said, “My life was absolutely dependent on coming off that ship… my friends and colleagues were all on it. I’m 91 years old, yet I could’ve died aged 20. I didn’t even have to come off it. I didn’t find out it had sunk until seven months after it happened”. Canon Craston went to America to repair an aircraft carrier and went on to serve in the Far East, along the Indian Ocean, from 1943 to 1945. Originally, he’s from Preston, but moved to Bolton in 1954, where he served as priest of St Paul’s Church in Deansgate until 1966, and of St Paul’s with Emmanuel Church in Vicarage Street, Daubhill, until 1993. Canon Craston has two children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He’ll attend the ceremony with his wife Brenda and daughter Carolyn Edmunds.

 2 October 2014

Neil Robertson

The Bolton (Lancashire. ENGLAND. UK) News


Thursday, 16 June 2011

16 June 2011. Some of My Favourite Things… Yokosuka Navy Curry… Good Eats in Any Language!

How ’bout a lighthearted romp through Westernised Japanese cuisine… I knew that you wouldn’t mind…


Yokosuka Navy Curry

8 servings


  • 1 litre/4 cups beef stock
  • 400 grammes/1 pound beef, cubed
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced (400 grammes/1 pound)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced (200 grammes/8 ounces)
  • 4 small onions, thinly sliced (400 grammes/1 pound)
  • 30 millilitres/2 tablespoons lard
  • 15 millilitres/1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 15 millilitres/1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 30 millilitres cornstarch dissolved in cold water
  • salt/pepper, to taste


Melt the lard in a large pot over medium heat. When it has liquefied, add the beef, and brown it well, tossing it frequently to ensure an even result. Remove the beef and reserve it. Add the potatoes, carrots, and onions, and cook them for about 10 minutes, stirring them often, until the onions are translucent. Add the beef stock, bring it to the boil, and reduce the heat to low. Return the beef to the pot, adding the curry powder and soy sauce, stirring the mixture well to combine everything thoroughly. Cover the pot, and cook it for 40-50 minutes, stirring it occasionally to ensure that it doesn’t stick on the bottom. Make a slurry of the cornstarch dissolved in cold water, whisking it thoroughly to remove any lumps in the mixture. Turn the heat to medium-high, bring the curry to a boil, add the slurry, and stir the curry until it thickens. Reduce the heat to low, put the cover back on the pot, and cook it for a further 10 minutes. It’s usual to ladle the finished curry over cooked Japanese medium-grain rice. The yield of 8 servings assumes that you’re going to serve this in deep soup plates over the rice. This isn’t eaten with chopsticks, kids… it’s ALWAYS been eaten with a spoon. This came into Japanese naval usage in the 19th century, as the Royal Navy had adopted it as part of its culinary routine. The RN was the premier navy of its time, and the Japanese sent young men to learn from it. Officers of the formative IJN, such as Togo Heihachiro, studied in England and sailed aboard RN ships, so, certain practises of the Senior Service become part of the IJN tradition (moreover, the JMSDF continues them today).


Many Western sources add garlic to the recipe… I haven’t found it in my Japanese sources. I’d leave it out if I were you. You’re eating NIHONGI curry… NOT Indian curry… there’s a difference.

Приятного аппетита. Bon appétit.

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