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The British Newspaper Archive

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Read about historical events at the time they were happening. Perhaps you'll discover your ancestor in their local newspaper?

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Arctic Star

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RolloTheRed Report 27 Feb 2013 11:37

My father served with the RN in the Arctic. The experience left hi, with a life long sour opinion of politicians and tremendous bond with the navy. He is deceased.

Does anybody know how to go about claiming the new British Arctic Star post humously? I have his original service record on the tough paper.


brummiejan Report 27 Feb 2013 11:42

Try this site - it states that:

'Eligible veterans and next of kin are now being encouraged by the MoD to apply for the new awards. Information and an application form can be found on the website, or people can phone 08457 800 900.'

Have seen this on the news - brilliant that these brave men are being given recognition at last.



RolloTheRed Report 27 Feb 2013 12:28

Thank you.

Bit bloody late for my old man.

He was always very scratchy about the attempts to airbrush the convoys out of history and / or portray them as as "yet another naval cock up" when in fact vast amounts of war supplies were successfully landed. The Russians themselves never held back in their thanks and praise.

Oh well I have his other gongs and the illegal photos.

"The men are the heroes; the heroines the ships. The only villain is the sea, the cruel sea that man has made more cruel. " - Capt. Erikkson

"Good oh. Snorkers"


Malcolm Report 28 Feb 2013 14:17

"So you've had a look round the ship have you? How many Fire Hose Points are there?"

C'mon Rollo..I bet you know! :-) One of my favourite films too.


RolloTheRed Report 28 Feb 2013 19:55

My old man said of the film that it was not exactly the Arctic but for pongos like me a better idea then anything else he had seen. He also said that moving from a corvette to a heavy cruiser was great 'cos he could wash now and again.

You may have seen film taken of the ice and heavy seas ... apparently when it really got tough the film crews had to pack up!

RN Arctic and North Atlantic losses:

including these:

1940 Jun 8 - Aircraft carrier HMS GLORIOUS ( 22,360t, 1930 ) sunk by U-boat Norwegian sea

1941 May 24 - Battlecruiser HMS HOOD (42,000t, 1920), sunk in action with Bismarck, N Atlantic

1941 Jun Drifter HMS JEWEL requisitioned in 1940 for use as a minesweeper and sunk by a mine in Belfast Lough in June 1941 ; lost with all hands

There are apparently 300 men who served north of the Arctic circle still alive.

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.
Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Psalm 107


Christine Report 1 Mar 2013 11:53

Yesterday I applied for the Artic Star, and the Actic Emblem ( I had missed that one being issued) , as I am the daughter of someone who served in the Merchant Navy, and Dad was on the Russian convoys from 1941 till his ship was sunk while on convoy QP 14 in September 1942.
I just wish these awards had come MUCH earlier, while a lot more of these seamen were around to receive them.
Fortunately Dad survived the sinking and went on to serve in the Med and the South Atlantic convoys.
So, I'm looking forward to receiving these awards.



RolloTheRed Report 1 Mar 2013 16:24

As you say the service medal should have been issued a long long time back.

My mother was in floods of tears when she heard the medal was coming. All those guys who felt that their bit, their war had been put through the erasing machine. The sea demands a sort of never ending stoical courage which is way beyond the ken of most people today.

Several of my rellies were "Bomber boys" and they are getting a clasp, again after nearly 70 years wait.

It would be nice if they could have a service of commemoration such as that after the opening of the Bomber Command memorial.

During all this time I wonder how many OBEs MBEs Orders of the Bath and such have been doled out to MoD civil servants and desk based admirals ?



Christine Report 2 Mar 2013 14:56

Yes, I wonder too. I bet the ones whose backsides were on seats through it all, were the first in line for those awards.

My dad never spoke too much about things, but I have learnt an awful lot since researching his time on the ships he was on. I feel really proud of all of those men and all they acheived.