Now they've waited 70 years to receive their medals and today at a special ceremony marking armed forces day, 25 veterans of the Arctic Convoys were honoured.
The Arctic Star medals were due to be sent out in the post but many felt this was no way to recognise the efforts of those who've endured so much.
Kerry Swain reports.
Kerry Swain spoke to Alec Penstone, Ann Briggs and the Leader of Portsmouth City Council Gerald Vernon-Jackson.
More top news
Holly with the latest forecast
Holly with the latest forecast in the East of the region
Designed by Gardener's World presenter Joe Swift, Horatio's Garden Stoke Mandeville is the charity's most ambitious project yet