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Bingalau mentioned that it's 70 years since the battle of the Atlantic this year and this was announced today to commemorate the Arctic convoys and the Bomber Command missions.
Does it still matter 70 years on? Personally I think it does, and I know a lot of the PCA members are veterans or have family that participated in that war.
The Great War is about to dominate history again as it's century commemorations line up for attention, and with the benefit of hindsight, you can't look at that war without linking it with the last one as First and Second World Wars, parts one and two of the same.
Yes, but in the last 10 minutes it was updated to confirm an expected statement:
"I am also pleased to announce that the families of those no longer alive will also be able to apply for these awards in recognition of their loved one's bravery."
Better late than never I suppose, but why did they wait so long? Everybody who went through the second world war knew about the Arctic convoys and the conditions. The losses were dreadful and God only knows how many survivors suffered after the war with post traumatic stress. The facilities offered to amputees etc., these days are way in advance of what was available then. Are these survivors being offered better equipment and prosthetics? I think they would prefer that than a metal star.
It seems churlish to me that they were refused the award from the Russians too. The excuse that they may be going to get one from our own establishment is not good enough. How many servicemen and women were awarded the French Croix-de-Guerre to go with the one from our own tight fisted lot. I suppose the cold war had something to do with it. A revision of the old established rules is badly needed.
Then there are the Bomber boys, They are only just getting recognition for the suffering too. But they aren't even getting a medal, only a clasp to put on their already recognised star. Even the Home Guard got those (deservedly).
I had a medal awarded recently for the Confrontation in Borneo, Malaysia area during the 1960's. It was awarded and paid for by the Sultan of Borneo. But guess what? The rules and regulations forbid the wearing of it with British awarded medals. Most of us take no notice and wear it anyway, just to be bloody awkward of course. I don't think they can put me in detention now can they? (Clang!! It ain't arf dark in ere).
With my Bomber background, post war, I am still undecided about the award of a Bomber Command Clasp. Pre D-Day Bomber Command aircraft were escorted by Fighter Command over France. Up to the recent announcement all aircrew would get the Aircrew Europe Medal, now the Bomber Boys will get a Clasp and the Fighter Boys will not. The only special award for Fighter Command was a rosette for the Battle of Britain Aircrew.
Having crossed the Atlantic by Convoy in 1941 I feel that the Arctic Award is well deserved. I was too young to be frightened but I still remember it.
flycatcher1. You were lucky too.
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