Arctic convoy heroes remembered at medal ceremony

Picture: Peter Jolly

Picture: Peter Jolly

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The bravery of the men who took part in the Arctic convoys during the First World War will be celebrated as they are awarded a medal by the UK Government.

The convoys will be praised in a memorial service at Loch Ewe today and an Arctic Star medal ceremony will be held.

Veterans Minister Keith Brown paid tribute to the efforts of the arctic convoys. Speaking before the event he said: “This group made an immeasurable contribution to the Allied forces’ efforts, facing the enemy in some of the toughest conditions anywhere on the planet.

“Their bravery meant vital supply routes were never cut off.”

Celebration

The creation of the Arctic Star medal, along with the new Bomber Command clasp, were announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in December, 67 years after the war, following a long-running campaign.

One of the leaders in that campaign was Jock Dempster, who died last weekend.

Mr Brown said: “I am sure he would agree that it is a true cause for celebration to see this group receive the medals that they deserve - the decision by the UK Government to award these medals is a victory for all those who made that case.

“It is a pity though, that many of these remarkable men are no longer with us and will not see the day when their service is at long last recognised.”

Mr Brown also said the Scottish Government supported the Russian Arctic Convoy museum project and had donated £5,000 to the museum fund.

He said: “The local communities around Loch Ewe deserve tremendous praise for their tireless work and for their wholehearted support for this project.”