Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C


Gallery: They are the war heroes time forgot but now Ipswich’s Peter Vice and others who served on Arctic Convoy missions will finally be recognised

16:29 19 February 2013

Peter Vice , who spent time on the Arctic convoys during the war.

Peter Vice , who spent time on the Arctic convoys during the war.


FREEZING conditions and constant bombardments – the memories of the Arctic Convoys have never faded for war hero Peter Vice


Factfile: The Arctic Convoys

- A total of 78 convoys took place between August 1941 and May 1945Around 1,400 merchant ships delivered vital supplies to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease programme, escorted by the - Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and the US Navy

- About 3,000 merchant and navy sailors died during the missions

- Eighty-five merchant ships and 16 Royal Navy warships were lost

- Four million tons of goods arrived in the Soviet Union thanks to the Convoys

- The supplies included about 5,000 tanks and more than 7,000 aircraft

Transporting goods and supplies to the Soviet Union in freezing conditions and in the face of constant enemy bombardment, the Arctic Convoy missions were a vital part of the war effort.

The Second World War heroes were largely forgotten until recently when it was announced that medals would finally be minted and awarded to those who served on the gruelling missions.

But for Ipswich man, Peter Vice, the memories of his war serving on the convoys have never faded.

“It was pretty terrible with all the bombers but the worst thing was the weather of course,” said the 88-year-old, of Heathlands Park.

“We went through the minefields and we were bombed all the way – then we were waiting for the German battleships to attack the convoys.

“In the winter there was six months of darkness and that was the wickedest part.

“We would close the turrets and we would stay in there. We would have about four-five inches of ice over the turret – it was like being in an ice box.”

It is thought there are now just 200 people still alive today who served on the convoys, described by Churchill as the worst journey in the world.

Mr Vice, who served in the navy for 30 years reaching the rank of Chief Petty Officer, lost his photos from the war after the floods of 1953 hit his parents’ home in Levington Road, Felixstowe.

But he still remembers his comrades and the sacrifices of the merchant seamen who were transporting goods.

The announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron that medals would be awarded to convoy veterans was welcomed by the great-grandfather of two.

But he believes a special mention should also go to the merchant seamen on the convoys.

He added: “The merchant seamen were the ones that suffered worst in the convoys, there were always seven or eight blown up – they didn’t stand a chance.

“They are just beginning to be recognised, but of course there are not many left at all now.

“The merchant seamen really had the brunt of it.”

During his career in the navy, Mr Vice served on 16 ships in a number of places across the world, including Korea.



Former Ipswich Town manager Sir Bobby Robson

An online auction launched in memory of Ipswich Town and England legend Sir Bobby Robson has raised more than £160,000 for charity.

Bad weather in Felixstowe.

Properties are at risk from flooding at Bawdsey Quay and Felixstowe Ferry, the Environment Agency has warned.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A 67-year-old west Suffolk garage owner who sexually assaulted and raped three schoolgirls more than 25 years ago has been jailed for 19 years.

Some of the UCS Choir members who will be appearing on Songs of Praise on television

University Campus Suffolk’s new choir is to appear on BBC Songs of Praise

Felixstowe mayor Doreen Savage switches on the lights helped by Elise Gorski, Peggy Osborne, and Ash and Lila Tadjrishi.

It’s a problem faced by millions of families across the country every year.

The close-knit Smith family in 2006: Matt, Wendy, Nikki and Barry

It can be upsetting and lonely having a child with a disability, but Wendy Smith would rather shout about the many positives. Steven Russell hears how love and kindness trumps any anger and bitterness

Domestic violence reports increase

Domestic violence reports soared by 12% in Suffolk last year with more than 2,000 recorded incidents involving male victims, police have said.

Woman conned by bogus caller (Stock photo)

A Hadleigh woman who lost £2,500 in a police scam has warned others to be alert to the crime.

Members of the nursing team at Ipswich Hospital.

Carers and visitors of people being looked after at Ipswich Hospital will next month be able to spend more time with patients as new extended visiting hours are introduced.

She was last seen in the area of Downside Close in Ipswich.

A woman reported missing to police on Saturday has been found safe and well following a public appeal.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24

to top arrow

Back to top