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Posthumous medal for Doncaster World War Two veteran

Paula Buckley (r) with her mum Joan, of Sykehouse hold up a picture of Paula's dad John and the arctic star which he has been awarded with. Picture: Andrew Roe

Paula Buckley (r) with her mum Joan, of Sykehouse hold up a picture of Paula's dad John and the arctic star which he has been awarded with. Picture: Andrew Roe

A former royal marine who risked his life numerous times aboard the Arctic Convoys in World War Two has been posthumously honoured for his service.

Relatives of Fishlake man John Buckley believe he made at least 11 trips as a crewman aboard convoy ships which transported supplies through freezing seas to the Soviet Union after the Nazi invasion.

The ex-marine, who died of cancer aged 63 in 1985, has finally been awarded an Arctic Star medal from the Ministry of Defence, which was created following a long-battle to see the veterans formally recognised.

Mr Buckley’s daughter Paula, 63, of Blenheim Close, Hatfield, said: “I am so pleased my dad has been recognised for what he did. He would have been proud.

“We have checked his military records and it seems to show he made about 11 trips on the convoys, most of them on HMS Liverpool.

“He never spoke about what he saw during the war. He would even turn war films off the TV.”

The grandmother-of-two added: “I think the whole experience held bad memories for him. It is incredible what they went through. The cold they had to put up with was bad enough, not to mention the threat of being sunk.”

Between 1942 and 1944, dozens of convoys of merchant ships, escorted by Royal Navy warships, were sent into the Arctic Circle to transport vital supplies.

The treacherous convoy trips were described by Winston Churchill as the “worst journey in the world.”

Between 1941 and 1945, 78 convoys braved attacks by German U-boats and the Luftwaffe. Three thousand seamen perished.

Campaigners had blamed the long delay on poor political relations between the UK and Russia during the Cold War. Several Doncaster veterans have been rewarded since the medal was minted last year.

 

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