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Proud Elm Park man given Arctic Star on behalf of late father

PUBLISHED: 09:37 17 March 2015 | UPDATED: 11:15 17 March 2015

CPO Les Rudd with the Arctic Star medal presented to him on behalf of his late father Bertie. Picture: Sandra Rowse

CPO Les Rudd with the Arctic Star medal presented to him on behalf of his late father Bertie. Picture: Sandra Rowse

COPYRIGHT S E ROWSE

The proud son of a late Second World War veteran has collected an Arctic Star medal on his father’s behalf – but believes he would have been “bemused” by the award had he been alive to receive it.

Chief petty officer of Hornchurch Sea Cadets, Les Rudd – himself a Navy veteran – was presented with the award by the mayor of Havering, Cllr Linda Trew, at a special ceremony.

His father, Bertie Rudd, was part of the Arctic Convoy from Christmas 1942-1944, but he counted himself lucky to even be there.

“He was torpedoed on HMS Galatea in December 1941,” he said. “Only 20 per cent of the crew survived and he was one of them.

“I think he would have been bemused by this medal because he always said he was a very lucky bloke for surviving that.

“He used to say everything afterwards was a bonus.

“A lot of his mates died when that ship sunk. The Mediterranean waters in December are rather cold.”

A Stepney-born glass decorator by trade, Bertie died in 2001 aged 81.

Les, 67, of Elm Park, followed in his father’s footsteps and served on the seas from 1962-1994 before joining the cadets following government defence cuts when the Soviet Union ended.

The uniform instructor was delighted to collect the medal in his late father’s name at the cadets headquarters in Wood Lane, Elm Park.

“It was very good,” he said. “It was a proud moment. The medal was sent through the post but if you make arrangements you can have someone present it to you.”

“Before they presented it to me one of the officers spoke about the medal to give all the cadets an idea about it.”

The medal will return home with Les where it will take pride of place with his other Wartime medals.

“I’ll be telling the family about it and it will go with all the medals he received at the end of the War,” he said.

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