PEOPLE power is needed to end the miserable wait for a medal to recognise forgotten Second World War veterans.
That’s the rallying cry from Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage who is backing The News’ campaign for an Arctic Star medal for the heroes who went on daring supply missions to the Soviet Union between 1941 and 1945.
The Tory backbencher is calling on the public to rise up against government bureaucracy that has robbed veterans of a medal and sign an online petition to get the issue debated on the floor of the House of Commons.
The official e-petition, which can be found by visiting portsmouth.co.uk/arcticconvoys, takes less than one minute to sign. After a name is added to the list, the website sends an email with a link which must be clicked on to confirm you back the cause.
Ms Dinenage said: ‘I feel that I have done nearly all I can on this campaign. I have questioned David Cameron at PMQs, had a private meeting with him at Downing Street and recently held a Westminster Hall debate in parliament on which I received strong interest from across the political spectrum as well as the national media.
‘I now need people to help get a full parliamentary debate on this by signing the e-petition for an Arctic Convoy medal and spread the word to their family and friends to do the same.’
The government has decided that yet another review will be held into the medal dispute – sparking outrage from the 200 ageing vets in their 80s and 90s who are sick of waiting.
An independent panel will be assembled to look at the rules governing the award of military medals. But who will lead the review and its remit is still yet to be announced.
It’s not too late to join The News campaign...
The News is calling on readers to stand up against the bureaucracy that has robbed Arctic Convoy veterans of a medal by signing an online petition which can be found at portsmouth.co.uk/arcticconvoys.
More than 3,000 sailors died running a sub-zero gauntlet of German warplanes and U-boats to keep Russia supplied and fighting in the war.
But successive British governments have ignored their plea for proper recognition – despite the veterans being hailed as heroes in Russia.
These veterans need people to get active online and start spreading the word about this 65-year injustice.
Twitter users are urged to tweet the above link using the hashtag #arcticmedal and to ask prominent Tweeters to spread the word to their followers.
People not on Twitter can email friends and work colleagues the portsmouth.co.uk/arcticconvoys link and ask them to send it on to other people they know.
If 100,000 people sign the epetition it could lead to the Arctic Medal campaign being debated in parliament. Arctic Medal campaign leader Commander Eddie Grenfell said: ‘It would be wonderful if we can get 100,000 signatures. On behalf of the veterans, I thank everyone for all their fantastic support.’