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So, the MoD has finally decided to award a medal specifically for the WW2 Arctic Convoys.

Sketch on BBC Breakfast this morning - the standard WW2 star design with THE ARCTIC STAR as the legend.

Ribbon has dark blue, light blue, red and white stripes.

Also, Bomber Command personnel will receive a clasp to the 1939-45 Star.

Edited by Megan

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Hmmm.... does that mean they would have to wear either the Arctic or Atlantic star? After all, a recipient of the Air crew Europe Star could not wear that and an atlantic star... or that and a France and Germany star?

If they can wear an Atlantic AND Arctic, then IMHO politics won out over military ?

Best

Chris

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It seems that the Atlantic star required 180 days at sea... so many arctic guys did not qualify... Arctic star has no time limit.

Now the guys who did not qualify for the atlantic Star due to only 175 days at Sea are going to get their lobby going as well ;-)

However, many Arctic veterans failed to qualify for that because of a
six-month minimum service limit unique to the Atlantic Star. All other
stars had only a one-day qualifying period.

At the end of the Cold
War, the convoy veterans began their campaign for formal recognition.
Tony Blair’s government went back on a promise to create a medal and
former defence secretary John Reid came up with a compromise of creating
the Arctic Emblem, which many saw as little better than a badge. The
Ministry of Defence also went back on a promise to allow veterans to pin
it on to the Atlantic Star.

Trudie Grenfell, the daughter of Cdr
Grenfell, said: “My father is absolutely delighted with the medal. He is
very pleased that this recognition is coming at long last, just sad
that many of his friends have not lived to see it.”

All those men who served for any length of time north of the Arctic Circle are eligible for the Arctic Star.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/arctic-star-medal-for-russian-convoys-veterans-1-2810130

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Interesting that they chose the standard WWII star, if the image is correct does that mean they will be using King George VI Cypher and crown?, If so I assume that ERII must have approved, that being said, It's about time those guys got some real recognition

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While I agree that those qualifying for the Star are more than deserving, I'm not sure I agree with the "better late than never" sentiment. Seventy years is a very long time to wait for such recognition. The wait wasn't because of some long-past miscarriage of justice, missing evidence of heroism, or other reason, such as racism. The Government so close in time to the events didn't seem to think special recognition was necessary, so why now? What has changed? Rings a bit hollow seventy years later it seems. Seems to ring loud and clear as politically motivated, on the other hand. Guilt because Russia wanted to offer recognition to those deserving that the British Government denied?

God bless those surviving that can still appreciate the belated recognition. But shame on those that have withheld it for 70 years.

Edited by IrishGunner

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Thankyou Megan for telling us about this new Award. I can't say that I agree with making this change at such a late stage - so

few of the possible recipients are still alive. Have they given any criteria for who can apply for this medal ? To obtain one

will greatly enhance the value of any original group - but I doubt if that many are still in family hands. I have at least three

naval groups where the medal holder could have claimed - will they allow non-members to do so ?

If he has entitlement, then in my view whoever has the gfroup should be allowed to present it with the new medal. Mervyn

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I wonder where it will all end, a Spanish Armada Medal for descendents of those who served with Drake, War of Spanish Succession General Service for descendents of those who served im Malbrough's campaigns. I am worried about these retrospective medals and other associated bling. It is so sad on Remembrance Sunday to see a WWII veteran with a couple of stars and a War and Defence Medal one side and a chestful of bling on the other.

We used think that a British serviceman with 4 medals in the 1980's had had a very long and distinguished military career. We would laugh at other countries where if you served a few years you had a couple of rows of medals , many awarded for just turning up. I am worried that all these retrospective and unoffical medals will end up devaluing the hard earned original medals

That my twopennies worth and I am sure many of you will heartily disagree.

All the best.

Paul

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Well... i was just reading about sailors torpedoed in the pacific, drowning, or slow death by thirst... or grouping together while sharks ate one sailor after another.... in the artic it was over and done with in 20 minutes. I would prefer not to have to choose, but if I had to choose between a great white and quickly freezing, I think the arctic was maybe a better way to go.

I think this was largely political?

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This may be a good place for me to post my query!

My Grandad served on the convoys, and we have applied for the Arctic Star now.

However he has received 4 Russian commemoratives. One is a bit tatty now, and we've been trying to find out how we can have the ribbon replaced - can anyone point in the right direction?

We're also hoping to remount his medals once Arctic Star sorted - does anyone know a specialist who can mount Russian medals? Both as a group and theone authorised to wear to be added to the UK medal group.....

Thanking you in anticipation!

p.s. in payment more than happy to upload picture of medal group & Russian individuals

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This may be a good place for me to post my query!

My Grandad served on the convoys, and we have applied for the Arctic Star now.

However he has received 4 Russian commemoratives. One is a bit tatty now, and we've been trying to find out how we can have the ribbon replaced - can anyone point in the right direction?

We're also hoping to remount his medals once Arctic Star sorted - does anyone know a specialist who can mount Russian medals? Both as a group and theone authorised to wear to be added to the UK medal group.....

Thanking you in anticipation!

p.s. in payment more than happy to upload picture of medal group & Russian individuals

Hello

First off welcome to GMIC :cheers:

are there any army bases near you? if so there would be tailors that might do it. Another option is to check at a military museum and see if they know of people that mount medals.

Larry

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So, they did not see fit to issue this medal during the lifetime of 95% who would qualified. My uncle died 5 years ago age 93, he was on these Russian convoys, what a pity he will never know how his service was valued. Two minutes in the water is all you have, rather die in the explosion than being left to die from exposure. Wow...they were almost like ww1 pilots with no parachutes, if the boat sank, you died, end of story. Any way, uncle fred never cared much for medals and if he were alive today he would probably say he risked no more than anyone else... A different breed of men.

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Yes they were.

US casualties were @ 70% for some Arctic convoys.

According to the Independent (a UK newspaper) there are fewer than 200 survivors who will get the medal alive.

Cameron- in a fit of weakness- apparently put this into a committee for several years despite promising the medal almost 7 years ago.

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Although they undoubtedly deserved it, I don't think it is very fair to other soldiers who served in specialist roles. Why no star for SAS, secret agents, resistance members and the like? They also went through great hardships. I do not disagree with the award as a whole, just think it is too little too late. A clasp to the 1939-45 star (like the Bomber Command personell Megan mentions) would have been better IMHO.

Matthew

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With regards to the SAS, those deserving of specific military recognition most probably received them, the point with the SAS it was and still is a very covert operation, and subject to nil publicity, that's what makes them so unique, I'm sure that many serving and ex-members have a high degree of awards. a specific bar would not prove anything.

Bomber command, yes a deliberate and political act by the then ruling government and subsequent administrations, It became politically incorrect in subsequent years to associate the mass carpet bombings and loss of life over many major German cities, "Bomber Harris" was virtually forgotten or ostricised after the war because he was "Bad news", that's why the many bomber crews who fought and 50 000 who died were refused recognition, A memorial to them has since been erected in London, a medal bar is small but tangible recognition eventually

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Bomber Harris" was virtually forgotten or ostricised after the war because he was "Bad news",

So, the cews are forgotten because of the "bad news" generated by this guy...with a 1945 KCB and a 1953 Baronet... Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Travers Harris, 1st Baronet, GCB, OBE, AFC

Not to mention Harris has a statue outside the RAF Chapel dedicated in 1992 with by the Queen Mother with the inscription..."The Nation owes them all an immense debt." Them "all"? Debt perhaps. But not a medal for the crews I guess.

A knighthood in 1945, a baronet in 1953, and a statue in 1992 isn't too shabby for a "bad news" guy being virtually forgotten. I'd say the crews were virtually forgotten instead.

Harris' Awards and decorations:


Edited by IrishGunner

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Hi, my comments were based on the attached, admittedly from Wikipedia, If I am wrong then I'll stand corrected

regards

"Within the postwar British government there was some disquiet about the level of destruction that had been created by the area-bombing of German cities towards the end of the war. However, Harris was made Marshal of the Royal Air Force in 1946,[24] and was also made GCB[25] until he retired on 15 September 1946 and wrote his story of Bomber Command's achievements in Bomber Offensive. In this book he wrote, concerning Dresden, "I know that the destruction of so large and splendid a city at this late stage of the war was considered unnecessary even by a good many people who admit that our earlier attacks were as fully justified as any other operation of war. Here I will only say that the attack on Dresden was at the time considered a military necessity by much more important people than myself."[26] Bomber Command's crews were denied a separate campaign medal (despite being eligible for the Air Crew Europe Star and France and Germany Star) and, in protest at this establishment snub to his men, Harris refused a peerage, the sole commander-in-chief not made a peer in 1946.[27] Disappointed by the criticisms of his methods, Harris moved to South Africa in 1948 and was the manager of the South African Marine Corporation (Safmarine), from 1946 to 1953.

In 1953 Churchill, now Prime Minister again, insisted that Harris accept a baronetcy and he became Baronet.[28][29] In the same year he returned to the UK, and lived his remaining years in the Ferry House in Goring-on-Thames, located directly adjacent to the River Thames."

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Hi,

as IrishG says, he seems not to have been snubbed, it was his choice...

"and, in protest at this establishment snub to his men, Harris refused a peerage, the sole commander-in-chief not made a peer in 1946"

Then he threw his teddy in the corner and moved to South Africa...

But once again.... why SHOULD bomber command have an Own medal? Can the Infantry insist on one as well? Bomb disposal guys could argue for one as well!! You needed more balls than I will ever have to roll out in a Sherman to face Tiger tanks... a bit like bringing a knife to a gun fight... so special medal for the Tankers as well!

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