VETERAN war heroes are celebrating one of their longest battles coming to an end following an announcement that Prime Minister David Cameron will award medals for the Arctic Convoys in the Second World War.

Roy Dykes, of Whitchurch, is among the many who campaigned for the brave men who ensured supplies would get through German blockades to the Soviet Union to get recognition.

More than 3,000 seamen died in Operation Dervish, with only an estimated 400 veterans still alive. The demand for medals has previously been turned down on grounds of protocol.

There would also be a “clasp”

for veterans of Bomber Command, the Prime Minister promised.

Mr Dykes was a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy from 1941 to 1945 tasked with supplying Soviet Russia – a Second World War ally – with vital supplies.

He said: “I am very pleased that some of the brave men of the Arctic Convoys will get the recognition they so richly deserve for the very dangerous work they did.”

Mr Dykes has campaigned tirelessly for more than 15 years for the Arctic Convoy members from the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy to be recognised with a medal.

Arctic Convoy veteran Ken Beard, of Ludgershall, called the news “wonderful”.

But he added: “I think to be honest it’s a smoke screen.

They have rushed through this. I think the Russians have just offered us a bravery medal and all the other countries, like America, have all accepted, except our Government.”