The Prime Minster met 65 Arctic Convoy and Bomber Command veterans to present them with their medals and clasps. At a special ceremony in Downing Street, around 40 men, all in their 80s and 90s, were presented with the Arctic Star medal and another 25 will receive the Bomber Command clasp.
Retired businessman, Neville Armstrong from Gosforth, said “I am extremely pleased that the Prime Minster will now recognise the first group of men and I am keen that those locally who are eligible to apply get the long overdue recognition of their bravery, either for themselves or a family member.”
Those eligible for the new Bomber Command clasp will have previously qualified for the 1939 to 1945 Star, to which the clasp will be affixed. There is an additional requirement to have flown at least 1 operational sortie as aircrew on a Bomber Command operational unit.
Those eligible for the new Arctic Star are all those who served for any length of time north of the Arctic Circle during the Second World War.
Mr Armstrong is now encouraging those locally who are eligible to apply for the award, which includes the families of those who have passed away. Details and an application form can be found at www.veterans-uk.info.