Finally honoured: Falklands veteran spent 30 years campaigning for his medal

A FALKLANDS veteran has finally been honoured for his part in the conflict – more than 30 years on.

Monday, 3rd November 2014, 6:00 am
Military Veterans of the Falklands War were awarded the South Atlantic Medal in recognition of their service during and after the 1982 Conflict. The Medal Presentation took place in Number 10 where each recipient was presented by the Prime Minister.

Ian Mcvitie has spent the past 32 years campaigning for forces personnel who missed out on medals.

The 54-year-old former Royal Navy radio operator just missed out on a South Atlantic Medal after arriving on the islands more than a month after Argentine forces surrendered Port Stanley on June 14, 1982.

But though the war was over, East Durham man Ian and his colleagues still faced many dangers, including the threat of attack from the Argentine Air Force, land and sea mines.

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For decades the only veterans who could claim the South Atlantic Medal were those who had been on the islands up to July 12, 1982.

But this year a long-awaited independent review, spurred on by Ian and Nigel Morris from Teesside, ruled that time should be extended by three months to October 21, 1982.

Now they, along with 18 other veterans, have been awarded their medals by David Cameron at a presentation at 10 Downing Street.

Ian, who served on HMS Ledbury, said: “We left the UK as part of the Task Force, but were delayed getting down there because of sea training.

“When we got down there it was absolutely horrendous, the weather was atrocious and there was still a real threat of attack, dead bodies lying around. We felt that we had been unfairly overlooked in not receiving our South Atlantic Medals without rosette.”

Ian, from Peterlee, added: “The medal presentation was the result of 32 years of campaigning so it was very emotional. David Cameron said well done to us and apologised for the wait.”