A FORMER war veteran from Halton has been honoured with a second medal from the Russian Government on the 75th Anniversary of the so-called Artic convoys.

Henry (Harry) Langton, 94, from Runcorn, is one of only approximately 550 surviving veterans eligible to receive the commemorative medal from the Russian Government in acknowledgement of the 75th Anniversary of the Artic Convoys.

Arctic convoys sailed from the UK, North America and Iceland to ports in northern Russia between August 1941 and May 1945.

A total of 78 convoys sailed from the UK and Iceland to North Russia, taking vital supplies of food and military equipment, between May 1942 and May 1945 during World War II. Around 1,400 ships were escorted by Royal Navy ships – the Navy lost 16 warships and 85 of the merchant vessels were sunk.

Harry signed on for the Merchant Navy in May 1942 at the age of 16. He was a 'mess boy' on board the SS Southern Princess, this ship was torpedoed by German U Boat and sunk, Harry said "luckily for me I'd been transfered to another ship the SS Southern Empress".

He also served on board the SS Daldorch, volunteering to run the German blockades. The ships departed at 24 hour intervals as the Royal Navy were unable to provide escort due to the imminent North Africa landing.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Harry said: “I woke up one morning and one of the crew members said we’d turned around and we were heading back home – there was a German cruiser ahead of us and it had just sank one of ours."

In 1943 Harry enrolled in the Royal Marines - taking after his father who had been a reserve in the Royal Marines in the first World War.

Harry added: "I'd always wanted to be one. I used to put his uniform and his cap on when I was young."

Harry was called up in 1944, serving in many locations including India and Korea. He was a member of the elite SBS (Special Boat Sevice) and was awarded the Military Medal for gallant and distinguished service.

In June 2016, alongside four other Halton veterans he was recognised for his bravery being presented with Ushakov Medals by representatives from the Russian Embassy on behalf of President Vladimir Putin.

Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, it was not possible to present this current medal in person. Like so many of his generation, Harry doesn't want a fuss, as he said: "This is a great honour and I'm glad I could do my bit all those years ago."