A SECOND World War veteran has been awarded the Russian convoy medal – 70 years on.
Donald Browne, 91, went to the Russian embassy to receive the honour for the part he played in helping the British Arctic convoys transport crucial supplies to Russia during the war.
The notoriously perilous sea campaign saw 3,000 killed.
Winston Churchill called the convoys ‘the worst journey in the world’. It was one of the most dangerous missions British sailors embarked upon.
Mr Browne, of Thorndon Park Close, Leigh, who was was just 17 and in the Royal Navy, adds his new medal to the Arctic Star and Maltese Cross .
But he remains modest about his wartime endeavours.
Of his trip to the embassy, he said: “I didn’t want to do it.
Its like boasting and I don’t go in for that.”
His partner, Margaret Day, 83, was less reticent, however.
She said: “It was a very proud moment. It’s a wonderful medal. It was decided in May that the veterans would get the award.
“Our Government awarded medals last year. Donald got the Arctic Star from the First Sea Lord.
“It was a nice trip to the embassy. Their tea was awful, but their vodka was lovely!”
The Russian ambassador hosted the ceremony for British veterans to receive the Ushakov medal in recognition of their efforts to deliver supplies to Soviet forces in the northern cities of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk (Archangel).
Foreign and Commonwealth Office rules stipulated British veterans could not accept a foreign medal if the act happened more than five years ago.
But last year the Government gave vonvoy veterans a new medal, the Arctic Star.
The decision to allow veterans to receive the