Cornish Veterans Receive Russian Medals
10 November 2014, 17:26
Forty two Cornish veterans from WW2 have been given medals for their role in helping Russia defeat the Germans on the Eastern Front.
At a ceremony at County Hall in Truro, the 42 veterans from the Second World War were given a medal by the Russian Embassy.
The Ushakov Medal has been given to the British veterans of the Arctic Convoys.
The Russian Embassy says the convoys helped them to defeat the German enemy on the Eastern Front as the British ships resupplied the Soviet Union.
More than 3,000 men died during the maritime campaign that Winston Churchill was said to have called the "worst journey in the world". The Russian Embassy wrote to survivors in May 2012 that it intended to award them with the Medal of Ushakov as a symbol of the country's gratitude.
The group are among 3,000 British veterans of the Arctic Convoys who will be presented with Ushakov medals.
Cornwall Council Chairman John Wood said "The recognition and subsequent awards are long overdue. The passing of the years does not diminish the significance of the contribution made by these brave and determined veterans".
Veteran Geoffrey Helmore from Praa Sands says "It was hell out there…what this commemorates is something I did 72 years ago. But it's well worth waiting for a Russian award. It would have been nice if we'd had it earlier but these things don't necessarily happen that way, and all good things come to you,a s long as you wait long enough… or so they say".