WWII veterans honoured for Arctic expeditions

89 year old Robert Thompson from Innerleithen and 92 year old Harold O'Neill from Haddington. Picture: Neil Hanna

89 year old Robert Thompson from Innerleithen and 92 year old Harold O'Neill from Haddington. Picture: Neil Hanna

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A NUMBER of veterans were honoured at an Edinburgh medal ceremony today for helping maintain a link between Allied and Soviet Union troops during the Second World War.

Arctic convoys would see civilian sailors brave freezing conditions in order to supply the Soviets with vital supplies while they fought Hitler’s Germany on the Eastern Front.

92 year old Harold O'Neill from Haddington. Picture: Neil Hanna

92 year old Harold O'Neill from Haddington. Picture: Neil Hanna

Today’s ceremony, which took place at St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh, is just one of four which will be happening in cities across Scotland.

The surviving veterans were presented with the Ushakov Medal. It is a Soviet award which was retained by Russia after the break-up of the USSR.

It is strictly a military award given for “bravery and courage in naval theatres”.

The medals were presented by the Consul General of Russia in Edinburgh, Mr Andrey Pritsepov.

Family members of deceased veterans received medals in their relative’s honour.

Other ceremonies will take place later this week in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness.

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