Timeline of an epic struggle

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May 1945: Germany surrenders.

January 1997: Veterans start their campaign backed by The News which presents a 16,000-name petition to John Major.

May 1997: Major backs defence minister Nicholas Soames in rejecting the request for a medal.

February 2001: Veterans minister Lewis Moonie turns down the medal plea.

March 2001: Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon confirms the decision.

October 2001: MPs ask the government for a rethink.

July 2002: Whitehall civil servants reject the idea of an award from Russia.

November, 2002: Blair promises case ‘under review’.

March 12 2003: After pressure from The News, defence minister Lewis Moonie agrees to meet Commander Eddie Grenfell.

March 25, 2003: Lewis Moonie refuses to change his mind.

July 16, 2003: Tony Blair refuses to meet veterans.

November 6, 2003: Blair tells House of Commons snub will be reconsidered.

January 5, 2004: The News launches the Last Chance For Justice campaign

January 12, 2004: More than 1,600 sign petition in first week.

January 13, 2004: The News takes a dossier of its campaign to Tony Blair.

March 13, 2004: More than 16,000 people have signed up to The News crusade.

May 15, 2004: More than 500 people bring London to a standstill carrying a News petition.

May 27, 2004: Blair reveals a review has been dismissed.

June 3, 2004: Arctic heroes receive medals from Russia.

July 23, 2004: MPs come out in support of the campaign.

March 7, 2005: Arctic veterans attend a reception at 10 Downing Street where they are offered an Arctic Emblem.

May 5, 2005: Cdr Eddie Grenfell stands for election in Ashfield, Derbyshire, when he runs against Mr Hoon in the General Election.

November 17, 2005: Veteran leaders meet new Defence Secretary Dr John Reid and agree the basis of a design for an emblem

December 21, 2005: MoD confirms the design.

August 8, 2006: Leading campaigner Dave Nash, dies aged 82, after losing his battle with mesothelioma.

October 11, 2006: The first surviving veterans are presented with their emblems.

January 19, 2008: Cdr Eddie Grenfell is awarded the German Military Cross of Honour by Germany.

September 14, 2008: The Russian Convoy Club holds its final meeting before disbanding due to dwindling of numbers.

August 19, 2009: Ministry of Defence rejects a sixth nomination for a place for Cdr Grenfell on the honours list.

March 25, 2010: Arctic Convoy veterans receive a medal from the Russian government marking 65 years since the end of the war.

January 12, 2011: Responding to a question from Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, David Cameron pledges that more must be done to recognise Arctic Convoy veterans.

June 24, 2011: Cdr Grenfell confronts veterans minister Andrew Robathan about breaking the pre-election pledge of a campaign medal.

August 21, 2011: Wreaths are laid at Portsmouth Naval Memorial to mark 70 years since the first Arctic Convoy left for Russia.

November 11, 2011: The government announces its intention to launch an independent medal review.

December 7, 2011: Mr Robathan compares claims for a convoy medal to the high number of honours dished out to Soviet generals and Colonel Gaddafi’s henchmen.

December 10, 2011: Mr Robathan apologises for comments, but says no to a medal.

March 24, 2012: Cdr Grenfell suffers a heart attack just after picking up a medal for bravery

May 10, 2012: The Royal Navy holds a service in Iceland paying tribute to the Arctic Convoys.

August 27, 2012: Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko says his government wants to award the veterans with the prestigious Medal of Ushakov

October 12, 2012: The Foreign Office blocks plans by the Russian government to award the Medal of Ushakov.

November 24, 2012: Ambassador Yakovenko pledges to keep fighting to allow convoy veterans the Medal of Ushakov.

December 19, 2012: David Cameron announces the creation of the Arctic Convoy Star Medal.