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The Arctic Emblem
The first Arctic Emblems were presented to Veterans on 10 October 2006 by Veterans' Minister Derek Twigg as a mark of the Nation's gratitude for the heroism they displayed in the face of terrible hardship on the Arctic Convoys of World War Two. Fittingly, the presentation took place on the quarterdeck of HMS BELFAST on the 65th anniversary of the first regular convoy's arrival at Archangel, North Russia.
(See more on this article here). Since then over 9,000 Arctic Stars have been issued.
The Arctic Emblem has been specially commissioned to commemorate the service of Merchant Seamen and members of the Armed Forces in the icy waters of the Arctic Region between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945.
Service in the Arctic during the Second World War was recognised by the award of campaign stars at the end of the war. Those who served in the campaign in Norway in 1940 qualified for the 1939-45 Star on entry into theatre (instead of having to complete six months’ operational service as was usual for that Star). In addition, the criteria for the Atlantic Star specifically included service on the convoys to North Russia. There are no plans to introduce any new medals for Second World War service. The Arctic Emblem is, however, a new initiative.
Mindful that those who served in the Arctic regions were often subjected to especially dangerous circumstances including extreme weather conditions and determined resistance from German forces, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues believe that the service given and the conditions undergone by the Arctic veterans warrant tangible recognition in the form of something that can be worn. As a result, on 7 March 2005 the Prime Minister announced at a reception for Arctic veterans, the introduction of a new Arctic Emblem that can be worn as a unique, recognised addition to medals.
The Arctic Emblem consists of a small white enamelled star with a red dot in the centre representing the fields of the flags of Russia and Norway. It has an arc with the words “The Arctic” above the centre. It may be worn on the lapel, or above the breast pocket, either on occasions when it is appropriate to wear medals, or on its own with either formal or informal dress. It has not been authorised for wear on the ribbon of an existing medal. All those who served for at least one day north of the Arctic Circle and west of the Urals between 3rd September 1939 and 8th May 1945, in the Armed Forces or the Merchant Navy will qualify for the Arctic Emblem. There is no charge for the Emblem. In common with the issue of campaign medals, the surviving next of kin may claim the Emblem on behalf of Arctic veterans who have died, but they will not be entitled to wear it.
There will be no charge for the Emblem. In common with the issue of campaign medals, the surviving next of kin may claim the Emblem on behalf of Arctic veterans who have died, but they will not be entitled to wear it.
Veterans or next of kin wishing to claim the Arctic Emblem should do so by completing the attached form as fully as possible and returning it to the address shown. If there is uncertainty about details of service, information can be obtained from Ministry of Defence archives; details are given under “Service Records” on the Veterans UK website. Applications received are dealt with promptly, but there may be a delay of several weeks while a check of eligibility is carried out. Please be patient. If you have any material, like a copy of your Service Record, a “Bluenose Certificate” or other material which might assist us in confirming eligibility to the Arctic Emblem, please enclose a copy (not the original) with your completed application form.
Application for Arctic Emblem - Questionnaire