Varyag Memorial

Located in a lay-by on the A77 Trunk Road, overlooking Carleton Bay a half-mile (1 km) southwest of Lendalfoot in South Ayrshire, the Varyag Memorial commemorates the loss of the Russian cruiser Varyag. Built in the USA in 1898-1901 for the Russian Imperial Navy, her crew had notably defied the Japanese in 1904 at the start of the Russo-Japanese War. Refusing to surrendered to a superior force, the ship had engaged in battle and was seriously damaged. Having been scuttled by its crew, who returned to Russia as heroes, the ship was recovered by the Japanese the following year, repaired and served in their navy as the Soya. It was returned to Russia in 1916 and sent to Britain for a refit. However, its role and ownership became unclear after the Russian Revolution of 1917 and it was eventually sold for scrap three years later. While under tow, the ship ran aground just off the coast at Lendalfoot and was cut up in situ 1923-25.

The first memorial here was unveiled on 30th July 2006 in a ceremony attended by Russian politicians and senior naval officers, veterans and local dignitaries. The following year a large bronze monument was added to the site.

The direction signs to the monument must be unique as the only bilingual English-Russian road signs in Scotland.

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