Veterans presented with their Arctic Star medals in London

AWARD Veteran George Burridge picked up his Arctic Star medal today. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (112988-807)
AWARD Veteran George Burridge picked up his Arctic Star medal today. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (112988-807)
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DAVID Cameron praised Arctic Convoy veterans before presenting their medals at an intimate ceremony in Downing Street.

Around 40 veterans were invited to Number 10 today to receive their medals from the Prime Minister.

Arriving in the morning, the veterans were taken into Downing Street before being shown to their seats to await the Prime Minister and First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope.

Mr Cameron praised their courage and sacrifice, saying the moment was one of the highlights of his time in office.

He then personally presented the medals to each veteran.

George Burridge, 89, from Emsworth, was one of those who received his medal from the Prime Minister.

Mr Burridge served on board HMS Belfast as a radar operator.

He said: ‘I was very pleased to be there. We were treated so well.

‘The Prime Minister spoke to us and said he appreciated what we did for our country.

‘I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard on the campaign, people like Eddie Grenfell who have done so much.’

The veterans had lunch at Number 10 before being taken by coach for a visit to HMS Belfast.

Howard Turtle, 90, from the Isle of Wight, got up at 3am to make the journey to London in time for the ceremony.

He said: ‘I never thought it would come to this.

‘The Prime Minister has stepped up and done what others have failed to do.

‘It was wonderful to be in Downing Street with so many other veterans.

‘Everyone has just been so happy.

‘It has been a long day for me but it is all worth it.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage was at the ceremony in London.

She said: ‘It was really nice. The Prime Minister said it was a huge honour for him to be able to do this and then he went and gave each veteran their medal.

‘It was a very moving thing. It’s something that so many people have been working on for such a long time.

‘It seems like a dream come true that it has finally come to fruition.’