'MP WELCOMES RECOGNITION FOR BRAVE SEAMEN'

Lymington Times – 28 January 2006

Shadow Navy Minister, Julian Lewis, has joined other campaigning MPs in welcoming the decision of the Ministry of Defence to issue a special Arctic Star Emblem to recognise the heroism of the veterans of the four-year Arctic convoys to supply Britain's Russian allies during the Second World War.

Having argued at length for such recognition in defence debates and at Prime Minister's Question Time, the New Forest East MP has joined colleagues from all parties in tabling a Commons Motion congratulating Cmdr Eddie Grenfell, of Havant, for masterminding an eight-year cam­paign, the local press for supporting it, and Defence Secretary John Reid for making the award possible.

Dr Lewis said:

"These valiant men fought in sub-zero conditions with little chance of survival if their ships went down. Eddie Grenfell was, in fact, one of the very few to survive a sinking. We will probably never know why a separate medal or clap for his campaign was not struck at the time – perhaps it had something to do with the coming of the Cold War be­tween. Russia and the West. This is a good outcome to a long campaign."

Anyone who served in the Mer­chant Navy, or any of the armed ser­vices involved with the Arctic convoys, and wishes to apply for the new Emblem, should contact the Ministry of Defence Medal Office, Building 250, RAF Innsworth, Gloucester, GL3 1HW.