The Prime Minister, David Cameron, presented the newly created Arctic Star medal to local resident, and former mayor, Lt Cmdr Roy Dykes at no.10 Downing Street yesterday. A reception followed on HMS Belfast, which was involved in the convoy supply missions to Russia during World War II.
Roy Dykes was the deputy leader of the 16-year campaign to convince the UK Government to create the medal.
A video interview of Roy is embedded at the bottom of this article.
Our local MP, Sir George Young said,
“We were on our campaign in the right way, we were fighting a lot of indifference from the MoD and that wasn’t right… The battle’s won, common sense prevails – it should have happened many years ago”.
“It was a real pleasure to see Roy Dykes at Number 10 Downing Street, before the Prime Minister presented him with his Arctic Medal. It was also very moving to see so many of his former colleagues, who had survived the dangers of the Arctic Convoys, and had come to the ceremony in Number 10”.
Sir George said that all those who were presented with their medal owed Roy Dykes and Eddie Grenfell a huge debt of gratitude for their tireless campaign to seek recognition.
The Prime Minister said at the presentation ceremony,
There are lots of extraordinary people I have met in this room in the last 3 years and lots of events I have been very proud to hold, but I can’t think of a group of people that I am more proud to have in Number 10 Downing Street. I am only sorry that it has taken 70 years to get to here and to say thank you for what you did.
This website on behalf of Whitchurch sends Roy and Eddie a heartfelt congratulations for winning their campaign, and also gives thanks to them and all the veterans for their service to the country in World War II, in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable. We are all in your debt.
Further details of the medal and the application form is available on the Veterans UK website HERE or by ringing 08457 800 900.
A video interview of Roy Dykes is on YouTube HERE.
A video made by British Forces News of the medal presentation ceremony at No.10 Downing Street is HERE.
Roy was accompanied to the presentation by his neighbour, Gareth Lewis who we thank for providing the photographs you see here. (Now) historic information about the campaign is HERE.