U-turn on decision to recognise hero

A war hero from Kimberley is celebrating after the Government did a U-turn and decided to award him for his efforts during World war Two.

Don Reynolds served on the arctic convoys and was been prevented by red tape on the part of the British government from receiving a medal from the Russians to mark his sacrifices.

But Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed that 200 survivors of the treacherous convoys will finally be recognised.

The announcement came just FIVE DAYS after a front-page Advertiser report in which we highlighted the case of Mr Reynolds.

The 87-year-old, of Stocks Road, said: “I’m really very pleased. It’s rather amazing, just coming out of the blue like that after they (The British Embassy) refused it. I was very surprised.

“It seems a remarkable about-turn.”

The veterans had to cope with sub-zero temperatures on what Winston Churchill called ‘the worst journey in the world’ to keep open supply lines to Russia at a crucial stage of the war. Seven decades later, they are to be presented with the Arctic Convoy Silver Medal.

Mr Cameron told MPs he had accepted the recommendations of a review of military medals carried out by former diplomat Sir John Holmes.

He said: “Sir John has recommended awarding the medal and I fully agree with him. I am very pleased that brave men who served on the Arctic convoys will get the recognition they so richly deserve for the very dangerous work they did.”

In October 2006, Bulwell MP Graham Allen organised presentations at Nottingham Council House of an Arctic Emblem — not a medal — to Arctic convoy veterans.

He called for action to ‘cleave through the bureaucracy’ and present medals to the veterans ‘while they are still with us’.

Mr Allen said he was delighted with the victory which had now been achieved over the medals, even though it was very long overdue.

Mr Reynolds served on HMS Virago, which helped to protect convoys taking ammunition and food to Russia.