Forgotten heroes to get medals at last

Arctic convoy
An Arctic convoy ship at sea Photo:

Surviving veterans of the Arctic convoys and Bomber Command will receive new medals or clasps within a fortnight following the government's decision to properly acknowledge their bravery during the second world war.

Archie Mayes from Felixstowe in Suffolk was awarded many medals for his bravery. Now, he's about to get another. It's for serving on the Arctic Convoy mission - described by Winston Churchill as the worst journey in the world.

More than 3,000 men died in the freezing waters as they worked to keep supplies flowing through German blockades to Britain's ally, the Soviet Union.

Seventy years on their bravery is finally being recognised.

"Better late than never but seriously, sad that so many got killed and have passed on. It's very sad that we've had to wait so long."

Mr Mayes served as a Royal Navy sick birth attendant providing medical help. At 92 he's one of only three veterans from his ship alive today.

Veterans of Bomber command are also to be honoured with a special RAF clasp.

Their death toll was even greater with 55,000 airman losing their lives.

Surviving veterans and windows will be the first to receive the awards.

The families of those who served will also be able to apply.