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WWII veteran returns to shores of Pacific

John Williams will be returning to the Pacific this year to recall the role he played during WW2 Credit: Big Lottery Fund

A World War II veteran from north Wales is to return to the shores of the Pacific to recall the role he played during his service.

John Clifford Williams from Betws Gwerfil Goch near Corwen will fly to Australia later this year thanks to a scheme being run by the Big Lottery Fund called Heroes Return 2.

Cliff as he's known to family and friends was called up to the Royal Navy in 1942 and sailed on the Dominion Monarch troopship, one of the fastest ships of her time during the War.

He returned to Britain in 1946 having worked at Royal Naval Repair Base in Sydney.

John Williams was 17 when he was called up to the Royal Navy in 1942 Credit: John Williams

The Big Lottery Fund say it's extending the scheme until 2015 - the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII - and is appealing for more veterans to come forward who want to return to the served at during the war.

The cash to make this happen has come from the Big Lottery Fund and the 82-year-old's trip is scheduled for October.

The scheme - Heroes Return 2 - has also been extended to June 2015 - the 70th anniversary of the end of WW2 and the BLF wants more veterans to come forward to make the most of the limited opportunity.


World War II Arctic Convoy hero to receive award

Ivor Beavon will be awarded The Arctic Star and Bomber Command clasp Credit: ITV News

A Welsh World War II hero, who served on an Arctic Convoy, is one of many to finally be rewarded for their heroism and bravery with a new award created by the Ministry of Defence.

Ivor Beavan, from Llanrumney, was prevented from collecting the Ushakov Medal last year for efforts in supplying the Russians in the Arctic because the Foreign Office said it has been more than five years since his service ended.

Ivor Beavan made trips aboard convoys to the arctic to deliver supplies to Russians Credit: AP/Press Association Images

It also said that because all British veterans of the convoys were eligible for the WW2 Atlantic Star medal they could not receive a further award for the same service.

Now, however, Mr Beavan will be given a new Arctic Star and Bomber Command clasp.

The MOD says that up to a quarter of a million veterans and the families of those who have sadly died could be eligible to receive the new awards in recognition of their unique contribution protecting Britain during World War II.

Production of the clasps will start at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant this week and living veterans and widows will be the first in line to receive the new awards from as early as March.

Ivor Beavan during his time on the Arctic Convoy Credit: ITV News

Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Mark Francois said, “All those who served our country in Bomber Command and on the Arctic Convoys deserve nothing but the utmost respect and admiration from us.

"That’s why I am delighted that these special individuals will in the next few weeks begin to receive the Bomber Command clasp and Arctic Star that they have so long deserved."

The Prime Minister announced the new awards last December and after extensive consultation the final designs have now been agreed.

The Arctic Star will be based on the World War II Stars and the Bomber Command clasp, to be worn on the ribbon of the 1939 to 1945 Star, will follow the design of the Battle of Britain clasp.