World War Two veteran awarded Arctic Star and Ushakov medals

Mr Ellison joined the Merchant Navy on leaving school as a teenager

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An 87-year-old World War Two veteran from the Isle of Man has been presented with the Arctic Star and Ushakov medals at a special ceremony in Douglas.

Roger Ellison, from Douglas, was awarded the Arctic Star Medal for his part in transporting crucial supplies to Russia between 1941 and 1945.

After being awarded the Arctic Star he was told by the Russian government he would also receive the Ushakov medal.

"They are precious. I will wear them in memory of those who died," he said.

"To receive these medals is very special.

'The worst journey in the world'

Arctic convoy ships
  • The Arctic convoys were made up of vessels which travelled from Britain to northern Russia to resupply the Soviet Union during World War II
  • Under constant threat of attack by German U-boats and aircraft, the craft also had to deal with severe cold, storms, and ice floes
  • By May 1945, the Arctic route had claimed 104 merchant and 16 military vessels. Thousands of Allied seamen lost their lives
  • Winston Churchill reportedly called the route the "worst journey in the world"

Source: National Maritime Museum

"Veterans have been fighting and lobbying for so long to get them.

"Once I was awarded the Arctic Star the Russian government got in contact to say I would also be awarded the Ushakov medal as I was one of those who arrived in Murmansk."

Mr Ellison joined the merchant navy as a junior seaman upon leaving school.

He added: "I remember spending a lot of time on the bridge and many times that were very dangerous."

The Arctic missions worked to keep supplies flowing through German blockades to Britain's ally - the Soviet Union - in Operation Dervish.

Deputy Governor of the Isle of Man, David Doyle, presented Mr Ellison with the two medals at Government House.

Mr Doyle said he had "total respect and admiration" for what Mr Ellison achieved in his life, both during and after WW2.

The Arctic convoys, reportedly called the "worst journey in the world" by Winston Churchill, took supplies to the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1945.

More than 3,000 men died while serving in the convoys.

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