Order of the Red Banner of Labour to Baroness
In a radio speech on 22 June 1944, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said:
"Any man or State who fights against Nazism will have our aid. Any man or State who marches with Hitler is our foe. It follows, therefore, that we shall give whatever help we can to Russia and to the Russian people. We shall appeal to all our friends and Allies in every part of the world to take the same course and pursue it as we shall, faithfully and steadfastly to the end".
In the first months of Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union, Clementine Churchill (Prime Minister Winston Churchill's wife) created the "British Red Cross Aid to Russia Fund".
The purpose of the fund was to raise funds to provide assistance to the Soviet Union with medicines, medical equipment for hospitals, and food.
Clementine Churchill not only herself made the first contribution to the new fund, thus setting an example for all British people, but also appealed for assistance to the fighting peoples of the USSR.
In response, thousands of money transfers and tens of thousands of letters began to arrive. In total, over the years of the war, the "Russian Aid Fund" raised funds more than 8 million British pounds.
On 2 April 2 1945, Clementine Churchill arrived in the USSR at the invitation of the Soviet government and the Executive Committee of the Soviet Red Cross and Red Crescent Society. Her trip lasted over a month. She visited the cities of Rostov-on-Don, Essentuki, Pyatigorsk, Sevastopol, Odessa, Yalta, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Moscow.
On 6 April, she met in the Kremlin with Stalin, who presented her with a gold ring with a diamond as a token of gratitude. On 7 May, Clementine Churchill was awarded with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour - for "outstanding services in carrying out public fund-raising activities in England to aid the Red Army."
The order was solemnly presented to her by Nikolai Shvernik, First Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
On 14 April 1945, Winston Churchill thanked Stalin for the high award of his wife:
“ We consider it a great honor to be awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour for the work she did to alleviate the terrible suffering of the wounded soldiers of the Red Army. Maybe small, but these are love-filled donations not only of the rich, but mainly the pennies of the poor, who were proud to make their small contributions weekly. From the friendship of the masses of our peoples to the mutual understanding of our governments and the mutual respect of our armies, the future of the whole world depends ".
On 11 May 1945, Clementine Churchill concluded her visit: “I was very happy in the Soviet Union and I thank everyone who was so kind to me and made my stay here so joyful. I wish to express my warmest gratitude to the Soviet Government for the cordial and tactful hospitality extended to me and my companions".
The Clementine Churchill Foundation continued to provide assistance to the USSR after the war and was only liquidated in 1951.
The memorial plaque was opened on 22 April 2016 in Rostov-on-Don, on the building of the 1st city hospital. The inscription on the plaque reads: "To Baroness Clementine Ogilvy Spencer Churchill with sincere gratitude for her mercy and help during the years of the joint struggle against fascism and in memory of the visit to Rostov-on-Don on 22 April 1945"