No quick reversal of Russian medal decision for veterans

David Cameron
David Cameron
James Rhodes from Waterlooville with the medal he and his surviving shipmates have have been awarded for their work on the supply convoys which helped The Netherlands during the second world war     
Picture Ian Hargreaves  (181100-1)

Merchant navy veteran ‘elated’ with war medal after seven-decade battle for recognition

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PRIME minister David Cameron today dodged a call in Parliament to allow Arctic Convoy veterans to wear a Russian medal for valour.

During Prime Minister’s Questions, Redcar MP Ian Swales asked if Mr Cameron would ‘get this decision reversed quickly’ so the veterans can get the recognition they deserve.

The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has forbidden the veterans to wear the Ushakov medal, saying it goes against its rules, but the US, Australian and other governments have agreed.

The veterans braved sub-zero temperatures, U-boats and the constant threat of icebergs to deliver supplies to Russia during World War Two.

David Cameron said he had sympathy with the veterans.

He added: ‘That is why we have asked Sir John Holmes to conduct the review not just into medals in general, but to look specifically at some of the most important cases, of which the Arctic convoys is probably the most pressing.

‘As my honourable friend asks, he is getting on with it.’