Widow urges Arctic Convoys veterans to apply for new medal

A PENSNETT widow is urging veterans of the Arctic Convoys or their families to sign up for a promised new commemorative medal.

Phyllis Coyle has been an avid campaigner for the veterans of the Russian Run as her late husband Mick, president of Stourbridge Royal Naval Association, was among the thousands of sailors who braved perilous seas, freezing temperatures and German U-boats to deliver supplies to Russia between 1941 and 1945.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced in December that a new Arctic Star medal would be created for veterans of what Winston Churchill called “the worst journey in the world”.

Mrs Coyle, aged 84, who funded and unveiled the country’s first memorial to Britain’s Arctic Convoys veterans at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas in Staffordshire last summer, now wants to make sure surviving veterans and relatives of former sailors know how to apply for one of the new medals.

She said: “Most of them would be in their late 80s or 90s and may not know how to apply.”

Veterans’ minister Mark Francois said the “long-deserved” Arctic Star medals would be issued within weeks.

Priority will be given to surviving veterans and widows. Other next of kin can also apply but will face a slightly longer to receive the award.

To register or find out more call the MOD Medal Office on 08457 800900.

Application forms can also be downloaded from www.veterans-uk.info/arctic_star_index.htm or by writing to The Arctic Star, MOD Medal Office, Imjin Barracks, Innsworth, Gloucester, GL3 1HW.

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