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The Russian Convoy Medal

The awarding of Russian Medals to British veterans
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 award.

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.

Application Form for Russian 40th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War Medal
(known generally as the Russian Convoy Medal)

 

 

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