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Bravery of Arctic Convoy veterans is recognised
VETERANS from Salisbury, Amesbury, Tidworth, Bulford and Ludgershall have been recognised for their bravery in sub-zero temperatures during the Second World War.
Wiltshire veterans of both the Arctic Convoys and of Bomber Command attended a presentation ceremony in Trowbridge on Friday to receive their Arctic Convoy Star Medals from the Ministry of Defence.
Described by Winston Churchill as “the worst journey in the world”, the Arctic Convoy ships of the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy made repeated perilous journeys to make sure vital supplies of arms and food reached Russian shores.
Many lost their lives in attacks by aircraft, ships and submarines, but their efforts are widely recognised as helping Russia’s war effort and significantly shortening the Second World War.
It has taken more than 70 years for their heroic efforts to receive proper recognition, and 24 local men were presented with their medal and a commemorative scroll in front of their families, Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council and their local MPs.
Igor Chamov, a representative from the Russian Embassy, also attended to say a heartfelt thank you to the men.
Christine Crisp, chairman of Wiltshire Council, said: “We are all delighted that after a wait of 70 years these men have finally been awarded the Arctic Convoy Star Medal to honour their gallantry, and it’s a source of enormous pride that we have so many of them living in Wiltshire.”
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