I campaigned for almost a decade to get a medal for the heroic veterans of the WW2 Arctic Convoys. These men endured unimaginable danger and freezing conditions in order to keep the supply lines with Russia open but for over 70 years this remained the only major sea campaign of the war to not have received a specific medal.
To rectify this, upon election, I met with the Prime Minister and Defence Ministers, finally leading a debate in Parliament which persuaded the PM to commission Sir John Holmes to conduct a Military Medals Review to which I was able to contribute.
In December 2012, the Prime Minister finally announced that the Government would be creating an Arctic Star medal and finally giving these heroes the recognition that they deserved. I was honoured to attend a ceremony at 10 Downing Street when the first medals were handed out to veterans. Sadly my dear friend, Cdr Eddie Grenfell was too ill to travel but proudly received the Arctic Star, for which he had campaigned so passionately, back in Portsmouth Guildhall. Eddie died only a matter of weeks later, but knowing that his tireless efforts to secure this medal had not been in vain.