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It’s great to finally get Arctic medal...we earned it all right
9:00am Friday 13th September 2013 in Echo News
A WAR hero has finally been honoured for putting his life on the line during one of the most dangerous missions of the Second World War.
Charlie Hemmings, 91, from Great Spenders, Basildon, was one of ten veterans who took part inacommemorative service on Sunday to receive his Arctic Star medal for taking part in the Arctic convoys.
He spent 18 months on HMS Lamerton transporting munitions to northern Russia to help Russians fight the Germans during the war.
He and his shipmates braved 70ft waves, temperatures as low as -42C and the threat of German U-boats.
It took until this year for those on the convoy to be formally recognised with a war medal, after a campaign by the Royal Navy Association.
During Sunday’s event, Charlie marched along Whitehall, in London, to the Cenotaph war memorial for a service by chaplain of the fleet, the Rev Scott Brown.
He was then presented with his medal by the Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral David Steel.
Charlie said: “I’m very proud to have taken part in the parade.
I’m also very glad. I’ve waited a long time for this acknowledgement.
“Those of us who were on the Arctic convoys earned it alright.
“Someone up there has finally recognised what was achieved, and what it meant to achieve it.”
Charlie was given the chance to be part of the special parade by his g r andson Ste v e n Hemmings, 26, who has campaigned for his grandfather’s involvement.
Steven, of Kirby Road, Basildon, said: “It was a fantastic day. It wasaproud moment for him to receive the recognition he deserves.
“It is only recently that he has begun to share his experiences with the family and Sunday’s service was a memorable occasion for us all.”
As well as Steven, Charlie’s son Chris and granddaughter Kate, of Stanford-le-Hope and, daughter Margaret Potter, from Chelmsford, also attended the ceremony.
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