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'I had excellent hearing. They used me to hear the torpedoes coming. It was horrible'

George with his treasured medal Credit: ITV

A World War Two hero of the Arctic convoys has finally been presented with his campaign medal after 70 years.

George Morris from Hungerford was 21 when he sailed on what Winston Churchill called "the worst journey in the world".

More than 3,000 British and Allied sailors were killed as they carried vital aid to Russia. The Arctic Star medal was created two years ago after a long campaign to recognise their efforts.

Dover's wartime tunnels open to the public

The tunnels provide glimpses of wartime life Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

A labyrinth of forgotten Second World War tunnels built beneath the White Cliffs of Dover have revealed glimpses of wartime life. The Fan Bay Deep Shelter was carved out of chalk in just 100 days in the 1940s on Winston Churchill's orders. It was part of Dover's connected offensive and defensive gun batteries, aimed at foiling German shipping movements in the Channel.

Lying 75ft below the Kent coastline, the 3,500 sq feet of interconnecting tunnels, reinforced with iron girders and metal sheeting, accommodated four officers and up to 185 men during the war.

The shelter - personally inspected by Churchill in 1941 - was decommissioned in the 1950s before being filled in with rubble and soil and abandoned during the 1970s.


War relic rescued from rubbish tip

This German range finder was used during the Second World War Credit: Buckinghamshire County Council

A war relic has been rescued from a rubbish tip in Buckinghamshire.

The German range finder was used to target Allied tanks during the Second World War.

It was originally handed in anonymously to a recyling plant at Bledlow Ridge.

"It was brilliant. We do receive quite a few donations, but to get something like this was very good. It is something unusual for children to see and to be able to hold when they visit our site. In a lot of museums, everything is behind glass, but here, you can pick things up."

– Phil Knight, a trustee of the children's centre

Old soldier who was famous for a post-war mission...

A war hero's funeral was held today. He was an old soldier who became famous for a daring post-war mission...

Bernard Jordan sparked a police operation last year when - aged 90 - he slipped out of his Sussex care home to attend D-Day commemorations in France. He died in December - and his wife Irene passed away a few days later.

Today they were laid to rest at a funeral service in Brighton.

Andy Dickenson reports.

Memories of Sir Winston Churchill on 50th anniversary of death

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill, the man who saw Great Britain through her darkest hour and led the country to victory.

350 million around the world tuned in to watch Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral when it took place in 1965.

In the second of ITV Meridian's anniversary reports, you will hear memories of the monumental statesman from his grandson, the MP for mid-Sussex Sir Nicholas Soames.

There will also be reflections from his great-grandson Randolph Churchill who still lives near the family home of Chartwell.

Sarah Saunders has more:

Wife of D-Day veteran dies, days after her husband

Bernard Jordan made his own way to the services in France Credit: PA

The wife of the D-Day veteran who went missing from his care home to attend last year's 70th anniversary commemorations in France has died - just days after her husband.

Irene Jordan, 88, passed away on Tuesday evening, seven days after the death of her 90-year-old husband Bernard Jordan, who was was known as the Normandy 'great escapee'. He secretly left his East Sussex care home, wearing his war medals, to journey across the Channel.

The couple, who were married for more than 50 years and lived their final days together in the same home, were described by Brighton and Hove mayor Brian Fitch as a devoted couple.


Dove of Peace brings port and community together

The iconic sculpture Credit: Port of Dover

The iconic sculpture, the Dove of Peace, by Anthony Heywood, has been unveiled at a spectacular public event at the Port of Dover. Taking place in the presence of The Viscount De L’Isle MBE, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, the Dove was dramatically revealed amidst singing, smoke and searchlights.

Attended by around 300 people, the occasion started in virtual darkness with a reading of The Night Before Christmas 1914, an adaptation of the original poem by Richard J Davis. This was followed by readings of letters from the trenches describing the memorable events of Christmas Day 1914. These were interspersed with carols, performed in both English and German, that are known to have been sung during the 1914 Christmas Day truce.

Then, after a minute’s silence, the sculpture, a full size white spitfire made from a special type of paper developed at the former Buckland Paper Mill in Dover, was revealed as red light filled the building, smoke swirled around the Dove.

  1. Derek Johnson @derekjohnsonitv

Gravesend statue honours wartime pilot

A statue of wartime fighter pilot Mahinder Singh Pujji has been unveiled in his adopted hometown, Gravesend. Mr Pujji was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for valour while flying in World War Two.

Mr Pujji died in 2010, aged 92.

We speak to: Satinder Pujji, son; Douglas Jennings, sculptor; Air Vice-Marshal Edward Stringer, Royal Air Force; Air Cdre Gurcharan Singh Bedi, Indian Air Force; Gurjit Bains, Gravesend Gurdwara.

VIDEO: Statue of RAF pilot unveiled in Gravesend

He was among the first Indian airmen to fight for Britain during World War Two, was shot down twice and saw many of his friends die in combat. But Mahinder Singh Pujji went on to become one of the RAF's most distinguished fighter pilots, flew all over the world and was honoured for his bravery.

Four years after his death, there is a permanent reminder of his exploits in his home town of Gravesend. A bronze statue of Squadron Leader Pujji now graces the riverfront, celebrating his exploits and the contribution of millions of Indian servicemen and women.

Watch the unveiling of the statue below.

Mr Pujji's son, Satinder, speaks to ITV Meridian about his father.

Arctic Convoy veterans recognised for bravery

It was one of the most dangerous wartime missions, with British troops facing attack from their enemies as well as the elements, as they had to put up with extreme weather conditions. The arctic convoys of World War Two saw British sailors travel 2.000 miles over dangerous waters, to deliver supplies to Soviet forces. Now veterans have been recognised for their efforts by the Russian Embassy, including several from the Meridian region. Lauren Hall reports.

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