War hero awarded medal 70 years late

Naval veteran Sam Pearson
Naval veteran Sam Pearson

A Second World War veteran who has been to hell and back is going to be awarded for his efforts – almost 70 years after the war ended.

Sam Pearson, of Buxton, is one of a group of naval seamen who took part in convoys to Russia during the Battle of the Atlantic and are to be awarded the Arctic Star for their bravery.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced the veterans were to receive the accolade after the British Government spent decades refusing to formally acknowledge the men’s efforts.

Sam, who was a signalman in the Navy during the war, said: “We were doing convoys to north Russia and Churchill called it ‘the journey to hell’.

“After the war, we were presented with medals from our government, but they wouldn’t present us with a medal for the Russian convoys because it was a communist country.”

Over the years, Sam has been awarded four medals from Russia for his efforts in providing supplies to the allies. However the British Government has now said he and his fellow veterans cannot have the latest medal Russia wishes to present to him, which is silver.

The 92–year–old said he was pleased to finally be getting a medal from Britain, but would like to have the latest medal from Russia. He is in talks with the Ministry of Defence over the presentation of The Arctic Star.