Search

I’m alive! Arctic convoy veteran from Romford honoured year late because MoD thought he was dead

09:22 07 March 2014

Lesley Claydon with his Arctic Star medal

Lesley Claydon with his Arctic Star medal

Archant

A survivor of the highly-dangerous Second World War Arctic convoy missions has finally been honoured nearly a year after some other veterans because the government mistakenly believed he was dead.

Havering Mayor Cllr Eric Munday presents the Arctic Star medal to Mr ClaydonHavering Mayor Cllr Eric Munday presents the Arctic Star medal to Mr Claydon

Not only did Leslie Claydon, 95, survive attacks from Nazi forces, he managed to outlive the administrative error by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which had classed him deceased, and saw his medal presentation 11 months after it was first awarded to others.

Mr Claydon received the coveted Arctic Star for his services in the freezing Arctic Circle in a ceremony at Abbcross Nursing Home, in Brentwood Road, Romford, on Tuesday.

Tragically, his son Ian Claydon, who had tried to apply for the medal on ­behalf of his frail father, died ­before the belated hand-over by Havering Mayor Cllr Eric Munday.

Mr Claydon’s daughter Dr Gillian Harris, of Hockley, Essex, took over the medal-seeking duty after her brother, of Harold Wood, passed away suddenly in December 2012, aged 67.

Mr Claydon with Cllr Munday and members of the Royal British LegionMr Claydon with Cllr Munday and members of the Royal British Legion

She says she filled in the application form “clearly leaving the date of death area blank” and sent ­repeated emails to the MoD but got no ­response.

“I emailed them,” she said. “I wrote to them, and eventually they said we have dealt with all the people [due a medal] who are alive, we are now looking at the relatives of dead service personal.”

Dr Harris was concerned that due to her father’s age, time was of the essence.

“They all thought he was dead,” she said, “but he wasn’t, so I said you need to prioritise him first. Because my father is partially-sighted I used my contact details so they must have presumed I was applying for my late father.”

Mr Claydon, who on the minesweeper the HMS Speedwell, said: “Thank you very much. I’m very proud.”

The MoD were contacted but did not respond.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:38
Off-target: The A&E at Queen's

A worrying increase in people attending hospital A&E departments last month has led to patients facing longer and longer waits.

Yesterday, 12:04
The westbound A13 is closed at the junction with Ferry Lane [Photograph from Google StreetView]

The A13 was closed near Ferry Lane yesterday as police discovered a dead body in a car.

Yesterday, 11:47
myplace, Harold Hill, in April 2012, the last time the show came to Havering

Immigration, Facebook and class war were hotly debated in an episode of the BBC’s flagship debating programme from Harold Hill last night.

Yesterday, 10:00
Planned engineering work could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition

The comedian returned to his home town for the prestigious award ceremony.

The helicopter crashed through the roof of the Clutha pub.

Twitter sat back and watched as the world went bargain-hunting crazy on Black Friday.

There was definitely something buzzing at JCB when he delivered his immigration speech.