Latvia to pay tribute to foreign freedom fighters

A commemorative event for Britsh, French and Irish seamen killed in Latvia's 1919 freedom battles is to be held at the patrol boat wharf of the Latvian Naval Flotilla this Friday, Oct. 16 the Latvian Defense Ministry said Thursday.

The ministry's representative Daina Ozolina indicated that the officials taking part in the event will include Latvian Defense Ministry parliamentary secretary Andrejs Pantelejevs and the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Latvian Naval Flotilla, Rear Admiral Ingus Vizulis, as well as British Ambassador Sarah Cowley and French Ambassador to Latvia Stephane Visconti.

The ceremony will include laying flowers at a memorial and a prayer by the Latvian armed forces' chaplain and lowering a wreath into the sea from a patrol boat.

In the fall of 1919, several French and British warships, the crews of which also included Irish seamen, provided the necessary artillery backup to Latvian forces' landing operation in Daugavgriva, at the estuary of the River Daugava in Riga.

The charge was the beginning of the liberation of Riga and the rest of Latvian territory from the combined German-Russian forces commanded by Pavel Bermondt-Avalov. Nine allied seamen were killed in action and six were wounded during these battles.

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