Why deny the crew of HMS Concord the Yangtze Clasp?

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IT WAS 70 years ago that a daring rescue took place. But for one crew, the government refused to even acknowledge their role for decades.

The crew of HMS Concord didn’t go to the aid of HMS Amethyst on July 31, 1949, to help it escape because they were chasing medals and honours.

They sailed into hostile waters, fraught with danger, because they were willing to lay down their own lives to save their brothers-in-arms.

And in the year where we are commemorating the brave efforts of those who took part in the D-Day operation, shouldn’t we also be remembering those who served no less bravely in other conflicts?

To be ignored and denied the recognition they deserve on a technicality is nothing short of criminal.

Hiding behind a seven year old independent review is moral cowardice.

It is all sadly rather reminiscent of the Arctic Convoys medal campaign – those veterans The News’ backed in their bid to be recognised for their vital role in providing supplies to the Russians during the Second World  Fortunately, that campaign, led by the indefatigable Commander Eddie Grenfell, was ultimately successful and the survivors were able to claim their Arctic Star.

But we are now in a very similar situation here – these sailors aren’t getting any younger, and the cynical among us would surely be forgiven for thinking, with only a handful of the crew still alive, that the MoD is waiting for nature to take its course.

What good does denying the sailors HMS Concord the Yangtze Clasp? Of course medals can’t be handed out to all and sundry, but there would appear to be a strong case here for finally recognising these sailors for their exploits, as were their colleagues on the other ships involved, many decades since past.