11:40am Wednesday 11th December 2013 in Letters
THE RECENT article in the Argus dated: 4/12/13 of Jim Winfield of Pontllanfraith receiving his Arctic Star medal off Lord Touhig was profound and moving. In today’s cynical society it brings home the supreme sacrifice these Arctic Star medal winners made.
The Arctic Circle convoys of WWII which lasted from 1941 to 1945, and was to be called the ‘forgotten campaign’ of WWII, was an immense blow to the British Navy. The campaign saw the loss of 78 British naval ships, and 3,000 British naval men losing their lives in some of the most extreme weather conditions on earth. Yet despite the terrible loss of shipping, personnel, and logistical problems these convoys underwent, it was a remarkably successful campaign. The Arctic convoy campaign saw 7,000 planes, 5,000 tanks, and vast quantities of fuel, raw materials, and medical supplies delivered to the Russian ports of Archangel and Murmansk, which helped the Russian war effort, its people and changed the course of WWII. Legendary British wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill called this campaign ‘The worse journey in the world.’ What shocked me was it took over 70 years for the establishment to decide to recognise these brave men and the ‘forgotten sacrifice’, they made, in the guise of the Arctic Star medal.
Wayne Thomas Monmouth Walk Markham
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