David Cameron honours Navy veterans with Arctic Star

Arctic convoy veteran Eddie Grenfell, 93, with his Arctic Star medal
Arctic convoy veteran Eddie Grenfell, 93, with his Arctic Star medal Photo: Chris Ison/PA Wire/Press Association Images

David Cameron today hailed the first recipients of the Arctic Star medal as a "group of heroes", as he presented them with the newly-created award.

Hosting a special ceremony at Number 10 Downing Street, Mr Cameron told the group of Second World War veterans: "I can't think of a prouder day that I have had in this job or a group of people I am more honoured to share it with."

The creation of the Arctic Star medal, along with the new Bomber Command Clasp, were announced by Mr Cameron in December, 67 years after the war, following a long-running campaign.

Commander Eddie Grenfell, now 93, and the main figure behind the campaign to award the Arctic Star, was presented with his award at a special ceremony as he was too ill to travel to the main presentation in London.

Prime Minister David Cameron speaks with WWII veterans
Prime Minister David Cameron speaks with WWII veterans Credit: ADRIAN DENNIS/PA Wire/Press Association Images

He has suffered a heart attack and two cardiac arrests but managed to build up enough strength to attend today's ceremony.

Among the Bomber Command veterans was Doug Radcliffe, 89, from Hampstead, north west London.

He said: "We are deeply honoured. It really is an honour to be here, a very special day."

He said that, while he was at Downing Street, he remembered two of his first crew who are buried in Germany.

"It's an honour - it's not just a clasp, it's an honour," he added.