Gallery: British sailors killed in Estonian War of Independence commemorated in Tallinn ({{commentsTotal}})

British sailors' sacrifice in the Estonian War of Independence in 1918 was commemorated at Estonia's military cemetery. Dec. 12, 2016.
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Photo: British sailors' sacrifice in the Estonian War of Independence in 1918 was commemorated at Estonia's military cemetery. Dec. 12, 2016. Author: (Siim Verner Teder/mil.ee)

A memorial ceremony was held at the Defence Forces Cemetery of Tallinn on Monday, the 98th anniversary of the arrival of a British squadron in the Estonian capital, in honor of the British sailors who sacrificed their lives in the fight for Estonia's freedom.

Wreaths in honor of the fallen sailors were laid at the Estonian military cemetery by British Deputy Head of Mission Kathryn Lindsay, Defense Attaché Cmdr. Gary Brooks and representatives of the Estonian Defence Forces, the Estonian Defence League, the Naval Officers Club of Estonia and the Estonian Retired Officers Association.

On Dec. 12, 1918, a British light cruiser squadron under the command of Rear Adm. E. A. Sinclair arrived in Tallinn with large caches of weapons, ammunition and other supplies. As Estonian naval forces were not yet ready to dispatch its warships at that time, the British cruisers headed out to sea on Dec. 21 to attack enemy positions in the Kunda, Aseri and Purtse regions.

On Dec. 23, the British forces supported the landing operations of the Estonian Lembit, Laine and Lood at Kunda.

The participation of British ships was also of critical value in an operation on Dec. 26-27 in which they captured the enemy forces' Spartak and Avtroil and gave them to the Estonian Navy, thus decisively strengthenening the power of the Estonian fleet to conduct independent operations.

British support was of great political and economic importance to Estonia, the latter of which was exhausted by war and revolution already. The British Navy ensured the maritime security of Tallinn during the Estonian War of Independence, and with its contribution also had a great impact on the course of the war.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla