Demand for ‘no further delays’ for Arctic heroes

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There should be no more delays in awarding medals to Scottish heroes who served on arctic convoys in WWII, Scotland’s Veterans Minister Keith Brown said today.

Mr Brown was speaking after the UK Government announced it had agreed on a design for the new medal and that over the next month it would award it to those who served on arctic convoys.

The Scottish Government has consistently made the case for this group of veterans to be recognised, with the Scottish Parliament also supporting the cause.

Mr Brown said:

“This is a welcome step forward and I now hope there will be no further delays in ensuring these veterans finally receive the medals they deserve.

“These brave men made an immeasurable contribution to the Allied forces’ efforts during World War Two.  They faced mortal danger in some of the toughest conditions anywhere on the planet.  

“While the progress on the medals is a cause of celebration it is long overdue.  Only now, 67 years after the end of the convoys, has the UK Government recognised that these survivors should receive a dedicated campaign medal of their own. Many of these remarkable men are no longer with us and will not see the day when their service is at long last recognised. That is nothing short of a tragedy.

“However, over the next month, surviving Arctic Veteran’s will receive the welcome recognition their unstinting dedication and service for their country thoroughly deserves.  It is a long awaited moment to pay fitting tribute to them, their fallen comrades and those men who have died in many years since the conflict ended.

“Along with many others, I have repeatedly made the case for this group to be awarded medals.  This decision by the UK Government is a victory for all those who made that case. But more importantly, it is a victory for these brave men, who sacrificed so much on our behalf.”