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Dave Grieve
Nothing shows how out of touch governments in general and this one in particular are with their mean spirited scrooge like attitude towards awarding Arctic Convoy survivors recognition in the form of a medal.
Those men where and are true heroes and anybody that has been to sea in any kind of bad weather can understand the physical and mental torture they must have gone through in every voyage they made.

Gentelmen I salute you all.
Duns Stotious
QUOTE (Dave Grieve @ 21st Dec 2012, 06:06am) *
Nothing shows how out of touch governments in general and this one in particular are with their mean spirited scrooge like attitude towards awarding Arctic Convoy survivors recognition in the form of a medal.
Those men where and are true heroes and anybody that has been to sea in any kind of bad weather can understand the physical and mental torture they must have gone through in every voyage they made.

Gentelmen I salute you all.

My father was on the Arctic convoys. He hated the Russian paranoid communists who after giving them aid to survive the war would not allow them to leave the ship when ever they docked after the most dangerous run in wartime. Did you know that at the height of the battle of the Atlantic Stalin allowed the German "U" boats to pass through Russian territory to the North to allow the better access to allied shipping. My father had no medals to show after having served in the Indian Ocean on armed merchantmen on the "Winston Special" convoys. He was at the North African landings the "Malta run" and ended the war in the Pacific at the Ram Ree Island campaign. Are you aware that these unsung heroes had their wages stopped if their ship was torpedoed or bombed causing them to go into the "cruel sea".

In loving memory of the 35,000 allied merchant men who gave their lives that the rest might live.
Dylan
I had family friend who served on the Arctic Convoys and my respect and gratitude to all of them.

Unsung Heroes who now deserve recognition they deserve.

I did not know that Stalin allowed the German U Boats to pass through Russian waters at the height of the war.

Could you please supply a link for this ?
Rab
At the time I came into this world, these heroes, particularly Convoy PQ17 (which lost 24 ships out of 35, due to Admiralty errors) were putting their lives at risk under the most extreme conditions, for an ungrateful 'ally' but which nevertheless belatedly awarded them a medal, unlike our government which has dragged its feet far too long over this injustice - but, was it ever thus? Too late for the majority of these heroes.
I took this back in the summer when I visited Loch Ewe where my father served during the war, not in convoys, but still in the Merchant Navy.

Click to view attachment


Bit of background here > http://www.veterans-uk.info/medals/russian.html
Doug1
Shame on our government for taking so long to salute the very brave souls who endured the Arctic convoys. I just cant understand why this should be when I for one have always know from my schooldays about the Arctic convoys and subsequently on countless tv programs etc. It's inexcusable.
wellfield
There is no comparison whatsoever how tha British Government compared to the American Government takes care of thier Vets!...even Merchant seamen here are remembered for their wartime service....
Rab
QUOTE (wellfield @ 21st Dec 2012, 11:32pm) *
There is no comparison whatsoever how tha British Government compared to the American Government takes care of thier Vets!...even Merchant seamen here are remembered for their wartime service....


I know this is true also in Canada where veterans get far better treatment and respect than here in the UK. As an example of how tight the government is on the medal issue, I served for 12 years, yet, because I did not serve in an active service area, I did not receive a single service medal. I worked on WW2 bomb disposal for 5 years and got nowt. I served the Queen, yet was denied either of the 2 Jubilee medals issued, which nevertheless were awarded to Traffic Wardens, Paramedics and the like, which grates a bit. Any US soldier leaving training has more medals on his chest than I ever got. I did my bit and I am satisfied, but it would have been nice to be thanked in some small way and have something to pass on to sons etc. IMO.
Isobel
Yes Rab I quite agree with you .
Melody
My Dad also served on the Arctic Convoys to Murmansk he was working on Asdic operations which I think was to detect submarines. He passed away in recent years, no medals for him though. wub.gif
DannyH
Hello All

As someone who crossed the Atlantic in both directions during World War II, albeit as a passenger, 8 years old on the way out to Canada, and 13 years old on the way back, I have been totally disgusted at the lack of acknowledgement of the courage displayed and sacrifices made by the British Merchant Navy personnel of all ranks and occupations.

Nowadays most of us fly across the Atlantic, unaware that during the second World War it was the courage of the Merchant Navy and their British Navy Escort vessels that prevented us from being starved to death, and which enabled arnaments to be transported to this country from Canada and the USA to help us win the war.

Unlike the brave military and navy personnel who received a pittance if they were discharged from service on medical grounds, the Merchant Navy personnel received nothing. It was as if they worked in a factory and were paid off. They were considered to have been employed by a privately owned company. A few years ago I saw a documentary on TV regarding merchant seamen who had served during World War II. One of the men interviewed had no legs. He had been blown into ice cold water. He lost his legs because of frost bite. When he was released from hospital, the company gave him one weeks wages, which was the practice in those days. So he was left penniless.

I crossed the Atlantic to Canada in 1940 in the ship, Duchess of York. I did some research after the war and found that she had been sunk by enemy action. I was devastated because I still remembered the faces and names of some of the crew. I am 81 now. I don't remember the names but I still remember the faces.

I have also found out that not all of the ships that crossed the Atlantic in the convoys I sailed in, made it home safely.

It is well past the time that the Merchant Fleet sailors were given recognition of what they did for us.

Regards to All.

Danny Harris
wellfield
QUOTE (Rab @ 22nd Dec 2012, 05:12am) *
I know this is true also in Canada where veterans get far better treatment and respect than here in the UK. As an example of how tight the government is on the medal issue, I served for 12 years, yet, because I did not serve in an active service area, I did not receive a single service medal. I worked on WW2 bomb disposal for 5 years and got nowt. I served the Queen, yet was denied either of the 2 Jubilee medals issued, which nevertheless were awarded to Traffic Wardens, Paramedics and the like, which grates a bit. Any US soldier leaving training has more medals on his chest than I ever got. I did my bit and I am satisfied, but it would have been nice to be thanked in some small way and have something to pass on to sons etc. IMO.

You're 'dead on' there Rab when it comes to citations in the US Army...after 6 months you look like a general.(most of these are awards given to a unit through the years,so you get the citation autinatically as being in that unit) also strange is to see so many real young sargeants,which we usually affiliate with an older soldier...anyway Lad' ye' did yer' bit...thats what counts!!
GG
Well done, Sir.
QUOTE
Andrey A Pritsepov said: "Russia is indebted to the brave Scottish men who risked their lives in dangerous conditions to deliver vital aid and equipment to the eastern front.

"It was a journey against all odds. Many have never returned. Their sacrifice and heroism comprise a proud chapter in our shared history.

"With so many of the Scottish veterans now in their 80s and 90s, we felt the 75th anniversary was an important milestone to bring as many of them together as possible to capture their stories and ensure we have a lasting legacy for many more generations to come."

Links:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37222294
http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/1471303..._Consul_General

A wonderful, moving photograph...
Click to view attachment

GG.
Elma
My brother-in-law served on the Russian convoys for the Merchant Navy during the war. I don't think he ever got recognition for his service. He was a radio operator and saw quite a lot of action. Unfortunately he has passed away so will never know what the Russians thought of them.
Melody
Indeed a lovely photograph Martin. I wish my Dad who also served on the Arctic convoys to Murmansk was with them, sadly he passed a few years ago. Such brave young men they all were.
Billy Boil
QUOTE (Elma @ 31st Aug 2016, 05:30am) *
My brother-in-law served on the Russian convoys for the Merchant Navy during the war. I don't think he ever got recognition for his service. He was a radio operator and saw quite a lot of action. Unfortunately he has passed away so will never know what the Russians thought of them.

No one recognized their merchant servicemen more than Canada. the history of Canadians, some only having experience in fishing boats, were sent in leaking out dated ships to the convoys both in the H.R.C.N. and merchant service.

Last year the Returned Servicemen's League in my town, finally placed the dedication to merchantmen on the war memorial. 70 years later when all who serve were gone. Remember this, no person in Britain starved, although there were shortages, none went hungry. Thanks to the 35,000 merchant seamen who gave their lives that the country might live. Yes my father too was on the Russian convoys, the W.S. (Winston Specials) round the horn. At North Africa, and Burma. He came home to no fanfare and no reward. This after spending nearly a year in a Sydney hospital from whence he was repatriated.
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