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Romford MP leading campaign for veterans to get war medal

By Brentwood Gazette  |  Posted: November 19, 2012

MEDAL MISSION: Andrew Rosindell with veteran Gordon Copson, who wants to take up the Ushakov Medal

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A CAMPAIGN to honour forgotten veterans of the Second World War is being led by Romford MP Andrew Rosindell.

A letter signed by 32 MPs has been delivered to the Honours and Decorations (HD) Committee requesting that British Second World War veterans be allowed to accept the Ushakov Medal in recognition of the part they played in the war's vital Arctic Convoy missions.

Among the veterans is Gordon Copson, from Hornchurch, who survived the freezing harshness of the arctic waters, but has never been properly recognised for his effort.

Currently war heroes are only able to receive the medal within five years of the end of their service.

They need permission from the Foreign Office or the HD Committee to accept the medals.

Whilst officials in USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have permitted their veterans to receive the medal, the UK Government has refused to waive the rule.

Between 1941 and 1945 British warships escorted 78 convoys carrying thousands of aircraft, anti-aircraft guns, trucks, tanks and other vital supplies through the Barents Sea to the Russian ports of Murmansk and Archangel.

Earlier this year Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree awarding the medal to foreign veterans.

Mr Rosindell said: "These heroic veterans played a vital role in securing the freedom of Europe and it is a travesty that their efforts should be denied the rewards they deserve due to such a minor technicality."

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