Star medal for Arctic Convoy veteran Robert

Arctic Convoy veteran Robert Blackman, 94, who recieved his Arctic Convoy medal by his family at Vicarage House Care Home.
Arctic Convoy veteran Robert Blackman, 94, who recieved his Arctic Convoy medal by his family at Vicarage House Care Home.
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A veteran has finally been presented with a medal for his work during World War Two - 70 years after he came home.

Robert Blackman was given the Arctic Star by his family on his 94th birthday at Vicarage House Care Home in Ravensthorpe.

Mr Blackman was a leading seaman on HMS London between March 1942 and February 1943.

The Royal Navy warship escorted convoys of merchant ships transporting vital supplies of food, weapons, aircraft, ammunition and medicines to the Soviet Union.

It faced attacks from enemy submarines, air raids and surface ships.

Mr Blackman, who was in the Navy for four years, said: “I’m very grateful to receive the medal - it’s brought a lot of memories back.

“It was a tremendous job to do but it had to be done. I just did my bit.”

Arctic Star medals were only approved by the Government earlier this year after a long-fought campaign by veterans.

The Arctic Convoy campaign claimed the lives of around 3,000 sailors and merchant seaman, and more than 100 civilian and military ships.

Mr Blackman’s sister Wendy Brooks applied for the medal on his behalf and wanted to present it to him on his brithday.

She said: “My brother served on HMS London. He talks very little about it.

“We owe them so much.”

Mr Blackman was originally from London but moved to the area after the war and returned to his trade as an electrician.

Before he moved to Vicarage House he lived at Leeds Road, Dewsbury.