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Felixstowe: Convoy hero calls for medals action

14:00 01 February 2013

Archie Mayes talks about his time in the Russian Convoys during WWII. Archie is pictured with old photographs from that period.

Archie Mayes talks about his time in the Russian Convoys during WWII. Archie is pictured with old photographs from that period.

A VETERAN of the Arctic Convoy campaign has today backed calls for medals for the survivors to be minted as soon as possible.

Prime Minister David Cameron has come under increasing pressure after public officials demanded the medals be awarded before any more veterans die.

It is believed there are only 200 survivors of the missions still living.

And for Felixstowe man Archie Mayes, 92, it will be a proud day when he can finally hold it.

He said: “It has been 70 years, but I would be pleased to get it.

“It would be more for my daughter but I still appreciate it.

“Most of the Arctic Convoy survivors have died – I think they should make them.

“Once it has gone through and the medal is on its way, I’ll be happier.”

Thousands died and scores of ships were also lost during the convoys, which saw vital supplies, including food and arms, transported to the Soviet Union.

And Mr Cameron announced last month the veterans will be in line for an Arctic star medal to recognise their sacrifice.

Adrienne Wakeling, team leader of East Anglia with the Royal British Legion, said: “Because these gentlemen did such a great job, their efforts should not be forgotten.

“They were literally feeding a nation.”

“Maybe close relatives can have the medals if they have passed away.”

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