Arctic Star medal given to veteran at association

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AFTER years of waiting, a Royal Navy veteran has finally been recognised for his work on the Arctic Convoys during the Second World War.

Tom Lawrence, 87, from Fareham was presented with his medal at the bi-monthly meeting of the HMS Morecombe Bay Association.

JUST AWARD Admiral Sir Simon Cassels presents Tom Lawrence with his Arctic Star

JUST AWARD Admiral Sir Simon Cassels presents Tom Lawrence with his Arctic Star

Former Second Sea Lord Admiral Sir Simon Cassels KCB OBE made a special visit to the association to present Tom with his medal.

He said he was ‘delighted’ to present Tom with his well-deserved medal.

Tom said: ‘They have been arguing and fighting for this for years. There’s not all that many of us left now as it was so long ago.

‘When I was in the Arctic I was only a boy of 16, so I was one of the youngest there. At the time, there were about 30 boys of 16 on board, it wouldn’t be allowed now.’

Tom joined the Royal Navy in July 1941. He joined the battleship Howe in July 1942 and served in the Arctic, Mediterranean and the Far East.

He later served on anti-aircraft frigate Morecombe Bay during the Korean War.

Tom said: ‘We never dreamed we would get the medal, it was so long ago.’

The HMS Morecombe Bay Association meets at Sarisbury Social Club every other month.

Chairman Doug Turk said: ‘This is a very important medal as there are only about 400 veterans left who are entitled to it. It’s taken a long time to get to this position to honour those who deserved the medal.’

Another association member Bernie Wilcock, from Fareham, will receive his medal officially on Friday in Portsmouth.

Doug said: ‘I’m very proud for our association to have two members who are entitled to the Arctic Star medal.’

The association is organising a trip to the National Memorial Arboretum, the UK’s centre of remembrance, in October. It would like to hear from people with connections to HMS Morecombe Bay.

For more details contact Doug on 01252 378629 or email doug.turk@ntlworld.com.