Merchant seamen deserve war medal

CONGRATULATIONS are due to Bill Sunderland and his surviving shipmates on finally winning a special medal in recognition of their Royal Navy service in the Arctic convoys.

Not wishing in any way to diminish the heroism of the Royal Navy, it should have been made clear in your report that the Arctic convoys were made up of merchant ships crewed by merchant seamen and escorted by the Royal Navy.

The more-than 3,000 men who died in those dreadful days were, in the main, merchant seamen. Being civilians, they are unlikely to qualify for the medal if past history is anything to go by.

So, once again, is the role played by the Merchant Navy in the Second World War to be ignored?

Bill Murphy, Browney Croft, York.

Comments (1)

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5:25pm Sat 29 Dec 12

Seadog says...

No. The undoubted heroism of the Merchant Navy on convoy duty during World War II is already well documented a understood. Public recognition in the form of a bit of tin is nice enough in itself, but ultimately of no importance. What matters is that they got through and delivered the goods. Our enduring freedom is their reward. That's what they did it for, after all ... not for "a ribbon to stick in his coat".
No. The undoubted heroism of the Merchant Navy on convoy duty during World War II is already well documented a understood. Public recognition in the form of a bit of tin is nice enough in itself, but ultimately of no importance. What matters is that they got through and delivered the goods. Our enduring freedom is their reward. That's what they did it for, after all ... not for "a ribbon to stick in his coat". Seadog
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