Russia recognises Arctic convoy heroes

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 December 2014

Maurice 'Maurry' Edwards receives the Ushakov Medal from Counsellor of the Russian Embassy Sergey Nalobin.

Maurice 'Maurry' Edwards receives the Ushakov Medal from Counsellor of the Russian Embassy Sergey Nalobin.

Archant

Veterans from Exmouth who served in some of the most treacherous conditions of World War Two have had their service recognised by the Russian government.

Megan Michell receives the Ushakov Medal from Counsellor of the Russian Embassy Sergey Nalobin, on behalf of her father Henry Smith.Megan Michell receives the Ushakov Medal from Counsellor of the Russian Embassy Sergey Nalobin, on behalf of her father Henry Smith.

Russia is awarding the Ushakov Medal, one of the highest honours given by its navy, to sailors who served on the Arctic convoys, braving icy seas and the U-boat peril to deliver vital supplies, helping the Russian war effort repel Nazi Germany.

In a ceremony at County Hall, 50 veterans received the award from Counsellor of the Russian Embassy Sergey Nalobin.

Among them was Maurice ‘Maurry’ Edwards, 88, of Hulham Road, who served on the cruiser HMS Black Prince, part of a convoy of 103 ships, on which it was his job to look out for enemy aircraft and submarines.

Maurry, who received the Arctic Star from the British Government last year, said of receiving the Ushakov Medal: “It’s great. Like a lot of people, we were very pleased and honoured to receive it.

“Most people appreciated that they took the trouble to thank us for what we have done.

“A lot of us just thought we were doing a job. At that time nobody thought it was anything different – we were just doing a job.”

Among the others recognised at the ceremony were Exmouth veterans Angus Baber, Robert Camp and Henry Smith, who had their honours collected for them by relatives.

Among these was Henry Smith’s daughter Megan Michell, who explained that her father was a Fleet Air Arm pilot on the aircraft carrier HMS Trumpeter.

She said: “We are very proud. Unfortunately, he passed away in July so he didn’t see it himself, but he was really looking forward to receiving it.”

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