Arctic convoy hero dies days before medal honour

Jock Dempster
Jock Dempster

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AN ARCTIC convoy veteran who was part of the fight to win recognition for his colleagues has died, days before he was due to wear his medal in public for the first time.

Jock Dempster died yesterday after suffering a stroke the previous weekend.

He had been due to take part in a series of events to mark Arctic Convoys Week, when he would have worn his Arctic Star medal.

As reported in The News, he was presented with the medal by Prime Minister David Cameron in March.

Jock, who celebrated his 85th birthday last week, made his first of two convoy trips to Murmansk in 1944 when he was only 16 and had campaigned tirelessly for veterans to receive official recognition for their sacrifices during the Arctic Convoy campaigns.

Speaking to The News in February 2011, he said: ‘The thought of death didn’t frighten me.

‘I was very religious at the time and a firm believer that there was a life thereafter.

‘But I was terrified of being badly burned, losing a limb or my senses.

‘I like to think I hid my fear from my shipmates. They certainly seemed calm enough, but as I later learned we all experienced the same emotions.’