Cornish veterans receive medals at Air Day ceremony
A World War II veteran and a long-serving civil servant have been awarded medals for their service at a special ceremony at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose.
Rex Little, 93, received the Arctic Star medal in recognition for his participation in the World War II Russian convoys and Lester Scott was awarded the Imperial Service Medal for an exemplary 25 years as a civil servant working at the air station.
Both medals were presented by Rear Admiral Russ Harding OBE, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Aviation & Carriers), during RNAS Culdrose annual Air Day event.
Rex Little joined the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm in 1941 as an electrician. He was drafted to the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable and served at sea for three and a half years, seeing action in the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
It was in 1943 that HMS Formidable was re-tasked to join the Arctic Convoys to Archangel and Murmansk in northern Russia, helping to deliver vital supplies to the Soviet Union.
The Arctic Star is awarded to any veteran who served for 24 hours or more above 63 degrees north during World War II. The medal is intended to recognise the service of personnel who supported the Russian convoys, which saw over 100 civilian and military ships lost and around 3,000 sailors and merchant seamen killed. “It’s an honour to receive the Arctic Star”, said Rex. “Being back in a naval environment today has brought back some marvelous memories”.
The Imperial Service Medal awarded to Lester Scott is one of the UK’s highest commendations and awarded in recognition of long and loyal service within the Civil Service. It is affiliated with the Imperial Service Order, which was awarded on retirement to clerical staff of the civil service throughout the British Empire for long and meritorious service. Lester said, “It’s quite humbling to know that other people had recommended me for the medal. I have some fond memories working here at Culdrose”.
The Imperial Service Medal was established on 8 August 1902, by King Edward VII. It is presented to non-managerial civil servants who have completed 25 years service upon their retirement.