Russian ambassador on hand as Arctic heroes receive Second World War medals (From This Is Wiltshire)
Russian ambassador on hand as Arctic heroes receive Second World War medals
More than 70 years after their Second World War heroics, 25 Wiltshire veterans finally earned special recognition when they received their Arctic Star medals at a presentation at County Hall in Trowbridge this afternoon.
Third secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation, Igor Chamov, joined Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire Sarah Rose Troughton and five members of parliament from Wiltshire and Swindon, who presented the medals.
Described by Winston Churchill as “the worst journey in the world”, the Arctic Convoy ships of the Royal and Merchant Navies made repeated perilous journeys in sub-zero temperatures to ensure vital food and arms supplies reached Russian shores.
Many lost their lives and the efforts of all those who took part are widely recognised as helping Russia’s war effort and significantly shortening the Second World War, but it has taken over 70 years for their heroic efforts to receive proper recognition.
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland presented medals to Philip Strong and Eric Whyte and Cecil Maynard.
Claire Perry, MP for Devizes, presented medals to Ken Beard of Ludgershall, Kenneth Stevens of Devizes, Nelson Foyle of Netheravon, Richard Jaggar of Etchilhampton, Arthur Ayres of Tidworth and Arthur Staynings of Leigh.
Chippenham MP Duncan Hames presented medals to Fred Andrews of Corsham, Mervyn Salter of Corsham, Tom Edwards of Melksham and Commander Harry Thompson of Melksham.
Andrew Murrison, MP for South West Wiltshire, presented medals to Admiral Sir William O’Brien of Sedgehill, Joseph Grant of Trowbridge, Alan Stubbs of Trowbridge, Denis Pickett of Holt, Bernard Howell of Mere, Gilbert Grace of Trowbridge and Thomas Goff.
MP for Salisbury, John Glen, presented medals to Edward Williams of Wilton, Robert Batty of Bulford, Gerald Pocock of Amesbury and Norman Gray of Salisbury.