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Convoy captain receives medal

Robert Goodwill MP presenting Roger Willison with his father's Arctic Convoy medal
w142104e
Picture by Gary Simpson

Robert Goodwill MP presenting Roger Willison with his father's Arctic Convoy medal w142104e Picture by Gary Simpson

The son of a war hero spoke of his pride after receiving his father’s Arctic Convoy Medal last Friday.

“My father never lost a single ship throughout the entire war,” explained Roger Willison of Hawsker.

Captain Alexander Willison served on the Empire Prowess for three years, leading convoys through the Arctic Circle to supply Russian Allies during the Second World War.

Roger, now 83, followed his father by becoming a merchant seaman himself. He was presented with the medal by Robert Goodwill MP, who had petitioned personally for the award to be made.

Mr Goodwill explained that he had actually visited the war graves of those who perished in the convoys, such as that at Murmansk. He said: “It was such a tough convoy to go in and there was such a high level of ships being lost that the Government recognised that a medal should be given.

“Obviously not many of the people are still with us, but as a way of remembering what our forebears have done, these medals become part of a family’s history.”

The Arctic Convoy medal was introduced last year to mark the bravery of those who took part in the four-year campaign, once described by Winston Churchill as “the worst journey in the world”.

 

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