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Russian Convoy Medal
The awarding of Russian Medals to
In the past, the Russian Government has offered medals to British veterans
to commemorate significant anniversaries of the end of the Second World
War. An approach was made to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
by the Russian authorities in the mid-1980s when their 40th Anniversary
of Victory in the Great Patriotic War Medal (also known more commonly as
the Russian Convoy Medal) was offered to British ex-Servicemen. Originally
instituted in 1985 and offered to British veterans shortly afterwards,
permission was not granted for it to be accepted and worn at that time.
Some years later, further official approaches by the Russians to the British
Government through the FCO were reconsidered. In 1994 The Queen granted
permission for this medal to be accepted and worn by eligible British citizens.
This was considered acceptable in the light of changed circumstances in
Russia since the medal was first issued, the improvement in relations between
the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation, and the fact that the medal
was a commemorative issue, recognising the passing of forty years since
the end of the war, rather than a foreign campaign medal. It was made clear
at that time that it was not envisaged that permission would be given for
any future anniversary medals issued by foreign or Commonwealth Governments
to be accepted and worn by British citizens where they related to services
wholly rendered more than five years prior to the proposal to make the
Despite this, the Russian authorities made a similar approach
to the British Government in 1995 when they produced their 50th Anniversary
of Victory commemorative medal. They were advised that permission to receive
and wear this medal would not be sought from The Queen as The Sovereign
does not recognise awards that commemorate an anniversary where permission
has already been granted to receive and wear an award for an earlier anniversary
of the same event.
Following discussions we have had with our counterparts in the FCO we can
confirm that last year the Russian authorities approached them with a formal
request that their new 60th anniversary medal be awarded to British veterans.
As with the other Russian medals this is entirely a matter for the FCO
which is carefully deliberating the request, as are all similar requests
from foreign governments.
Arctic veterans who did not apply for the Russian Convoy
Medal (the 40th anniversary medal) will be pleased to learn that the Ministry
of Defence Medal Office has located a small stock of medals which were
not sent out during the mid-Nineties. They will issue these on a first
come, first served basis to all those veterans who served on the convoys
to Northern Russia who had not previously applied for the medal. In common
with other Russian medals, the Russian Convoy Medal is not awarded posthumously.
Please complete the attached application form and send it to the medal
office. You should bear in mind that in view of the continued interest
in medals, parcticularly since the events last year to mark the 60th anniversary
of the end of the Second World War, there will be an unavoidable delay
before any medals will be issued.
Form for Russian 40th Anniversary
of Victory in the Great Patriotic War Medal
(known generally as the
Russian Convoy Medal)
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