Arctic medal for Ballyclare veteran

Published Tuesday, 02 July 2013
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A man from Ballyclare who was involved in the Arctic Convoys of the Second World War has been awarded a medal for his bravery, 70 years on.

Arctic medal for Ballyclare veteran
Hundreds of men lost their lives on the Arctic missions. (© UTV)

Isaac Higginson volunteered for the Royal Navy in 1934 aged 17.

He was one of the hundreds of men who helped protect a vital supply link to the Russian front during the war, on what Winston Churchill called the worst journey in the world.

Those veterans have now been presented an Arctic Star in recognition of their bravery.

Mr Higginson, who is 95, shared some of his memories of the convoys.

I know altogether they lost about 120 merchant ships in the convoys. It was a scary time for everybody

Issac Higginson

"I was at that time on the Black Prince," he told UTV. "It was cold when you were up in the director, because there was no roof or anything but you had special clothing.

"Even with gloves on you weren't allowed to touch the upper deck anywhere."

As well as completing the treacherous Arctic Convoy trip, Mr Higginson also survived a German torpedo attack that actually sank the ship he was on.

He also served with the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, during his 14 years in the Navy.

Many of those who survived the Arctic Convoys have sadly passed away, but Mr Higginson says he's proud to finally get the recognition for a life dedicated to service.

"I'm very pleased indeed," he said. "At my age I'm very pleased to get it - it took 70 years before Britain gave us it."

© UTV News
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1 Comments
Ex RIR in Ballyclare wrote (477 days ago):
Congratulations Isaac, well deserved and a long overdue recognition. Its nice to hear some good news come out of Ballyclare for a change.
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