Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the news that the Arctic Convoy Veterans of WW2 will begin receiving medals in recognition of their heroism and bravery within weeks, following an announcement by the Ministry of Defence this morning.
Production of the new Arctic Star will start this week. Living veterans and widows will be the first in line to receive the new medals from as early as March.
The Prime Minister announced the new medals last December and after extensive consultation the final designs have now been agreed. The Arctic Star will be based on the World War II campaign stars featuring the head of King George VI. All those who served for any length of time north of the Arctic Circle in World War II will be eligible for the medal.
Caroline, who has campaigned for a decade for a medal to be granted, said after today's announcement:
"I'm delighted that having finally made the decision to award the medal, the Government have turned the design and criteria around in rapid time.
The Arctic Convoy veterans are all heroes in the truest sense of the word. After ten years of campaigning my delight to see justice finally being done is tinged with sadness that so many are no longer alive to receive the medals they richly deserved."
The decision brings a triumphant close to the campaign for recognition on behalf of the veterans, which has seen Caroline relentlessly lobby Defence Ministers, meet with the Prime Minister and lead a debate on this issue in Parliament.