The Royal Canadian Legion

The Royal Canadian Legion

January 30, 2014 09:16 ET

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Legion Urges the Governor General to Authorize Arctic Star for Veterans

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 30, 2014) - Hundreds of Canadian Veterans and their families can now apply for the Arctic Star through the British government for their service in the Arctic in World War II… but they may not legally wear it. The Canadian Honours System has yet to recognize this important medal. This is shameful and The Royal Canadian Legion is urging the Governor General to make it a matter of priority to recognize the medal for those aging Veterans who deserve to be recognized for their bravery.

Braving treacherous seas and temperatures as low as -60ºC, Veterans ran the gauntlet of German planes and U-boats to supply the Soviet ports of Murmansk and Archangel between 1939 and 1945. More than 3,000 men died, 85 merchant ships and 16 Royal Navy vessels were lost. In late 2012, nearly 70 years after the end of World War II, the British government introduced the Arctic Star to honour these brave men and women. The medal is awarded for operational service of any length north of the Arctic Circle between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945. Only about 200 of these Veterans are alive today, they are of increasing age and it would be a great distinction for them to wear this medal before they pass away.

In December 2013, the Legion sent an official letter to the Governor General's office asking that this matter be addressed quickly, and allow our brave Veterans to proudly wear their Arctic Star with the honour and recognition they deserve. So far we have had no reply. What is the delay?

The fact that there are only an estimated 200 Canadian Veterans of the "Murmansk Run" still alive today makes this procrastination shameful. But be assured, The Royal Canadian Legion and our 320,000 members will not let this matter rest.

Lest We Forget

Gordon Moore, Dominion President

The Royal Canadian Legion

Contact Information

  • Dominion Command
    The Royal Canadian Legion
    (613) 591-3335
    (613) 591-9335 (FAX)
    www.legion.ca