Roy Dykes at the Whitchurch Remembrance day service earlier this month.

Arctic convoy survivor and Whitchurch resident Roy Dykes has been campaigning hard for recognition for those who risked their lives in the Second World War. 92-year old Roy is one of a special group of war veterans who took part in the convoys in horrendous conditions to provide vital supplies to the Soviet Union.

Promises broken
A previous promise by the Conservatives to honour the survivors with a medal is apparently now under threat. The Conservatives, when in opposition, had pledged that an award would be made, but have so far failed to fulfill their promise.

Loss of lives
The convoys of supply ships travelled from the UK and North America to the northern seaports of the Soviet Union, forever under threat of enemy attack. In all, 85 merchant vessels and 16 warships were lost in the efforts to provide essential supplies, many to U-boat actions. More than 3,000 British seamen lost their lives in the terrible conditions.
Roy is one of just 200 survivors left.

The mission was once described by Sir Winston Churchill as “The worst journey in the world”.

Council support
Roy and his wife Iris have served the Whitchurch community very well over the years, being committed to the well-being of the town. Both were Town Councillors and Roy was the Mayor in 2004/5 after being deputy to Cllr Barry Jackman, who is of course also our Mayor today.
Roy asked the Town Council for support for campaigning for this medal and was given unanimous full council support.

Supporting the campaign
We (the town website team) have been approached by the Gazette to support a campaign they have started to honour the Arctic Convoy heroes. We are only too pleased to help the Gazette and urge all readers to sign the Arctic convoy e-petition that the newspaper has set up.
Our heroes such as Roy deserve recognition. The least the Government can do is to award them a medal. Its not too much to ask for is it?

The petition reads:

That the Government issue a medal for all those members of the Armed forces and the Merchant Navy involved in the Arctic Convoys during the second World War.

Please sign it here:
Arctic Convoy e-petition

There is also a Facebook group:
Honour the Arctic Convoy heroes

Comments (1)

  • Mike Stead

    What does Sir George Young, our Conservative MP, have to say about it? Are the Atlantic Convoy veterans worth a medal?

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