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We were interested to read the blog post from Alan Crooks on 18 June about the Sword of Stalingrad, and the response comment ‘good to record a time of friendly relations with Russia’. This is not the only evidence of that in the Close! When we were researching for Salisbury Past some 20 years ago we found in the Museum’s ephemera collection a concert programme for 3 January 1943 (the Tehran Conference was held Nov – Dec 1943).

The front told us who was performing, and is signed ‘Best wishes Hubert’. Inside is the list of music played. But the words on the back really caught our attention; again it is evidence of Britain’s close relationship with Russia at the time, and brings home how Salisbury really was part of a global conflict:

“The proceeds of this entertainment will be handed to the Russian Ambassador for the provision of comforts for the heroic defenders of Stalingrad”

The Battle of Stalingrad was reaching its climax in January 1943; the Soviet victory over the German 6th Army was arguably the decisive battle of the war.

Jane Howells and Ruth Newman