70 years on, Bob gets his medal in the post
Published: 27 Apr 2013 12:000 comments
Bob Glover enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1943, aged 18, serving aboard HMS Diadem as a supply assistant on 10 convoys ferrying vital supplies to the former Soviet Union - breaking off to take part in the D-Day landings.
But though 88-year-old Mr Glover received recognition from the Kremlin in 1987 it took until Thursday, April 18, for his medal from the Ministry of Defence to arrive at his home in New Lane Hill, Tilehurst.
Mr Glover said: "It makes me wonder what took them so long? It is nice for the dependants to get one if they have lost their husbands or fathers. It seems like a bit of a waste of money to me, although it may have been different 70 years ago. But at least they sent it by recorded delivery."
Last December a consultation set up by Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to decorate the veterans who shipped food and munitions to Russia during the last two years of the war.
Mr Glover joked that when he first embarked on the Bellona-class AA Cruiser his nickname was eight-meals-a-day. He said: "They would call me four-down, four-up, because I was so seasick, it was unbelievable."
But through his 10 voyages from Scapa Flow near the Orkneys to Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula in northern Russia, he found his sea legs and no small amount of danger.
He said: "Even Churchill reckoned the Russian convoy was the worst and most dangerous job in the war. I think everyone was scared when you were called to action stations. I was down in munitions, sending up shells to the turrets and hoping that we wouldn't get hit."
His convoy only lost one ship in 10 voyages, despite having to make a 24-hour dash down from the Arctic to Portsmouth to support the troops on D-Day.
Mr Glover, who lives with his wife of 65 years Vera, 90, was nominated for the Arctic Star by his 62-year-old son, David, an accountant from Burghfield.