Thursday, April 29, 2010

Åland - Battle of Bomarsund

I present here a few pages from a stamp booklet issued in Finland commemorating Bomarsund a nineteenth century fortress in Sund on the Åland Islands in the Baltic Sea. It was built in 1832 by Russia but destroyed twenty-two years later in 1854 in the Crimean War by a British-French fleet. The Battle of Bomarsund was fought between the Russian defences at Bomarsund and an Anglo-French task force. After a week of fighting the British stormed the "remaining" fort and at the end of the battle the fort of Bomarsund was destroyed. Royal Navy mate Charles D. Lucas throws a live Russian artillery shell overboard by hand before it explodes, for which he is awarded the first ever Victoria Cross in 1857. The twenty-year-old Irish Mate later rose to the rank of Rear Admiral. Three hundred Finnish grenadiers defending the fortress were captured and taken to Lewes Prison in the United Kingdom. They were later allowed to return to Finland, and they returned with a song telling about their battle and imprisonment, called the War of Åland.

In the Treaty of Paris 1856, the entire Åland Islands were demilitarised, which is a status that has been preserved to this day. This beautiful stamp booklet was given to me by my dear friend Ella. Each page has a few explanatory sentences in English.

No comments:

Post a Comment