I was in the Commons Chamber yesterday when the Prime Minister announced that Second World War heroes will be recognised with an Arctic Convoy Medal.
I am delighted that Chorlton resident Bob Cowan and the 400 other surviving veterans will finally get the recognition they deserve for serving in the Arctic Convoys during the Second World War.
I supported Bob's campaign, writing to the Foreign Office Minister and issuing EDM 630 and wrote to the Foreign Minister urging the Government to give the veterans the recognition they deserved.
Credit is also due to the Manchester Evening News for highlighting Bob's case
The Liberal Democrats made sure that a review of all military campaign medals was in the Coalition Agreement.
The Atlantic Convoys endured Nazi submarine, ship, and air attacks while shipping vital supplies to the Soviet Union. 3,000 seamen lost their lives but for decades their sacrifices were unrecognised because of protocol.
Winston Churchill called the Arctic Convoy the worst journey in the world. It is only right that the government has agreed to issue Arctic Convoy veterans their medals as quickly as possible.
Early Day Motion 630 – Ushakov Medal For Arctic Convoy Veterans (http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/630)
That this House pays tribute to the bravery of the thousands of heroes who sailed on Arctic Convoys to the Soviet Union through Nazi air, submarine and battle attacks in sub-zero conditions enabling the Soviet Union to be supplied during the Second World War; pays respect to the more than 3,000 troops who did not survive the perilous sea campaign; notes that survivors, including Manchester resident Bob Cowan, are now in their late eighties and nineties; and urges the Government swiftly to reconsider its decision to deny the opportunity for survivors to accept the Ushakov medal from the Russian government and be rightly commended for their services during the Second World War.