Town’s MP is ‘honoured’ to present veterans badges to former servicemen and women

MP Mike Penning presents veterans badges - October 2014. 'Pictures by Silver Images Photography. PNL-141017-161235001
MP Mike Penning presents veterans badges - October 2014. 'Pictures by Silver Images Photography. PNL-141017-161235001

Medals and badges have been presented to men and women who served on the frontline during a ceremony hosted by Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning.

The presentation at the town’s historic Bury in Queensway, included a Russian Ushakov Medal - given in recognition of bravery and courage in the course of defending Russia or its interests - and a Bomber Command Clasp.

Mr Penning said: “I pay particular tribute to the recipients of the Russian Ushakov Medal. I am delighted that the valuable contribution of those who served in the Russian Arctic Convoys has been recognised by the Russian Government and it is right that the Foreign Office has changed the rules to allow British citizens to accept these.

“These men battled in horrendous conditions to deliver supplies to the Soviet ports of Archangel and Murmansk. Churchill famously referred to it as ‘the worst journey in the world’.

The MP presented the Russian Ushakov Medal to Fred Brown and the Bomber Command Clasp to Joseph Bawtree, which was accepted on his behalf.

At an earlier event, Mr Penning also met with Charles Light who has recently received the Russian Ushakov Medal from the Russian Ambassador HE Dr Alexander Yakovenko at a presentation ceremony held at the Russian Embassy in London.

“It is a great honour for me to present these medals and badges,” said Mr Penning. “As a former soldier myself, I wholeheartedly support this veterans badge initiative and the importance of recognising the debt we owe to our veterans.”

The veterans badge scheme was introduced by the Ministry of Defence to recognise veterans and their service to Queen and country and to raise the profile of the Armed Forces. Special badges are given to those who served in the Merchant Navy, the Women’s Land Army and Timber Corps as Bevin Boys.