ARCTIC Convoy veterans are to receive their medals at an official ceremony – after they initially arrived with their mail.
Philip Bulman, whose father Orston sailed in a convoy, arranged a medal ceremony after hearing how his father’s medal landed on his doorstep.
“He was really quite upset about getting it through the post,” said Philip, 60, who was a chief engineer in the Merchant Navy for 33 years.
“My boss knows the Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear and asked him if he would present the medals to the men, and he said he is happy to do it.”
The Lord-Lieutenant, Nigel Sherlock, is The Queen’s representative in the region.
A spokeswoman for him, said: “The Lord-Lieutenant will be honoured to formerly present the medals to the veterans who are finally being recognised in an appropriate manner. Hopefully we will be able to arrange it for sometime in June or July of this year.”
Merchant Navy seamen had to wait almost 60 years to receive the Arctic Star acknowledging their service in the Second World War.
John Clayburn, 87, of Fulwell, who sailed in one of the last convoys in 1945, said: “I will be pleased to be at the event because it will mean a lot. The medal came through the post, so it will mean more if we now get this presentation.”
Orston Bulman, 94, of Cleadon, who was a ship engineer in the PQ16 convoy, said it will be nice to have all the veterans – about six in Sunderland – together for the ceremony.
“I’m very pleased they are trying to organise something,” he said.
“I thought it was a disgrace just sending the medal through the post.
“It will be nice to get us together and make a bit of a do of it, so I’m all in agreement with it.”
George Lomax, 94, who also sailed in a convoy, has not received his medal yet.
“I had a letter from the Ministry of Defence to say they had to go through all the paperwork, and it would take some time,” he said.
“They did give us a little medal a while ago but it didn’t really mean anything, so to be recognised is great.”
For more details on the medal presentation, contact Colonel David Summers at the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association on 383 6253 or Lin Elder-Atterton at The Lieutenancy of Tyne and Wear, tel: 477 2006.