A former Whitchurch mayor and World War II veteran, Roy Dykes has won his long-running campaign today.
For decades, Roy has tirelessly been lobbying and campaigning the Government for a specific medal to recognize the brave people who served in harrowing conditions of the Arctic from 1941 on convoy missions to Russia.
Today, the campaign was won!
MEDAL TO BE CREATED
The Prime Minister, David Cameron announced during today’s Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament that an Arctic Convoy Medal would be created.
With reference to former diplomat Sir John Holmes who lead an official review of medals earlier this year, David Cameron told MPs:
‘I’m delighted to be able to tell the House that we have reached a resolution.
‘Sir John has completed his work and I thank him for what he has done.
‘On the Arctic Convoys, Sir John has recommended and I fully agree that we will be issuing an Arctic campaign medal.
‘Some of the brave men will get the recognition they so richly deserve.’
Roy Dykes told this website,
‘It’s like having a Christmas present – after 16 years!
It is a great relief – I had been getting frustrated at not seeing any action by this Government on it.’
TRIUMPH AT LAST
UPDATE 22 December 2012: Sir George Young MP has written to this website to state,
“I am delighted that the campaign which Eddie Grenfell, Roy Dykes and others have fought for so long has at last triumphed.
I have taken a personal interest in this campaign and corresponded with Ministers of all parties since Roy Dykes first contacted me.”
This website sends – as we’re sure everyone in town does too – its hearty congratulations to Roy and his fellow campaigners, especially Eddie Grenfell of Portsmouth who visited here this past spring.
This victory is the latest local campaign to have won success on a national stage, and may be one of the more significant since the Salvation Army protests in The Square 123 years ago (see ABOUT WHITCHURCH for more on that).
You can read more about Roy’s campaign on the town website page: CAMPAIGN FOR ARCTIC STAR CONVOY MEDAL
The article about Portsmouth’s Eddie Grenfell’s visit to Whitchurch in March 2012 is HERE.
A story in the Portsmouth News just now includes a simple quote from campaigner Eddie Grenfell (‘wonderful’): Arctic Medal campaign is won
Details of how veterans can apply for the medal will be announced early in 2013.
The Prime Ministers Questions where the Arctic Convoys medal announcement was made took place on the 19th December 2012 and is available on YouTube HERE (starts at 52 seconds in).