In a small celebration held this weekend, local Arctic Convoy hero Roy Dykes (92) was presented with a medal from a number of his supporters at a get-together in the Gill Nethercott Centre.The event recognised the bravery of Lieutenant Commander Dykes and was attended by several local dignitaries including Sir George Young MP, local Borough and Town Councillors, and the Town Mayor and Mayoress Barry and Sandra Jackman.
Roy is a leading campaigner in the national quest for an official wartime medal to be presented to those who spent their active service on the Arctic Convoy supply lines to Russia, which were marked by horrific conditions at sea and from the attacks from German forces.
Also at the event was Commander Eddie Grenfell, another wartime veteran of the Convoys. Roy spoke of the bravery of the Commander and recalled many of the atrocities they had to endure.
Unfortunately Commander Grenfell became ill towards the end of the presentation and had to be taken to hospital, but later said how grateful and honoured he felt.
For details of the continuing campaign for an official Arctic Star medal see this website’s previous article: Campaign for Arctic Star Convoy Medal
The local medal was presented to Lieutenant Commander Roy Dykes by Susannah Jackman, the Town Mayor’s grand daughter. The Mayor Cllr Barry Jackman presented a similar medal to Commander Eddie Grenfell.
In his presentation speech Cllr Jackman said:
We are privileged to have three generations of our family here today and we are grateful for the sacrifice women and men made for us during the war. We may have seen films, read books and heard first hand accounts of a little of the war and how it affected the lives of those who lived through it. We however, were not there and cannot therefore fully appreciate all that it will have meant for you, both then or now.
It gives us great pleasure to present to you, Lieutenant Commander Roy Dykes and to you Commander Eddie Grenfell, this Arctic Hero medal as a symbol of our love and grateful thanks to you for your heroic actions whilst serving our country on the Arctic Convoys.