Arctic veterans finally get their Stars after nearly 70 years

War veterans Norman Waller, left, and Wally MacCullough with their Arctic Star medals
War veterans Norman Waller, left, and Wally MacCullough with their Arctic Star medals
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The heroism of two Scarborough veterans has finally been rewarded as they join 200 former sailors in receiving the long awaited Arctic Star medal.

Until now Merchant Navy personnel have never been rewarded for their bravery during the Second World War, despite risking their lives to deliver food and supplies to Russia between 1941 and 1945.

Following years of campaigning the surviving veterans have finally got the recognition they deserve.

Among them is 89-year-old Wally MacCullough from Beechville Avenue and 88-year-old Norman Waller from The Glade.

Mr Waller, who served aboard the HMS Westcott, said it has been a long time waiting nearly 70 years for the medal, but it still means a lot to him.

He said: “I got my medals from the Russians so it’s good to have my Star now.

“The first thing I remember about the Convoys is the cold. As well as the cold the living conditions were diabolical as we were overcrowded. There was both to suffer.

“I spent three months out there just after turning 18. We would go out for seven days then have 10 days back then go out again.”

Mr Waller moved to Scarborough in 1980 when he retired.

Mr MacCullough, now a member of the Scarborough Merchant Navy Association, joined the Merchant Navy in July 1940.

Before being discharged in October 1945 he served in the North and South Atlantic as well as the Mediterranean and Arctic Convoys.

Mr MacCullough was also decorated with medals from the Russians in honour of his service.

After the war he became a brick layer, and for 15 years before he retired was chief clerk of works for Scarborough Council.