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.