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.
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With more people in the UK living in temporary accommodation, parts of England will soon trial a scheme which has tackled the problem.
Forecast for tonight and tomorrow in the west
Forecast for tonight and tomorrow in the east