Thursday, 03 November 2011 09:54

A FILMMAKER has described the treatment of the WWII Arctic Convoy veterans as 'disgraceful'

    Des Cox, Producer of documentary, 'the Worst Journey in the World', says servicemen on convoy ships bound for the Soviet Union endured extreme conditions but have never received any recognition for the sacrifices they made: “The people that served never received a medal. It's disgraceful.

    “In every other area of the military people have received the recognition they deserve. These boys were just 15 or 16 in many cases”

    Mr. Cox's ground-breaking documentary explores the stories of servicemen who manned military support and aid convoys to Britain's allies during the Second World War. Many believe the voyages provided vital support which saved the Russians from collapse and prevented German victory.

    Winston Churchill once described these Arctic voyages as the 'worst journey in the world' and Mr Cox believes he's not far from the truth. “I went to sea at 16 myself”, said Mr Cox, who attended Hatters Lane School and spent most of his life living in Totteridge, “when I was at sea there were still convoy veterans on the ships. I just thought, how did they put up with those conditions - the freezing cold and the isolation - all under the constant threat of attack?”

    Mr Cox argues that although the convoys were kept secret to conceal the extent of Soviet reliance on Britain, Russia now acknowledges the importance of the men who made that difficult journey. Almost nobody in Britain, however, is aware of what they did.

    After years of being ignored, Mr Cox says, the former seafarers were reluctant to speak about their experiences. Taking them on a tear-jerking voyage back through the Arctic was the catalyst which encouraged them to recall their stories. “Once we entered the Arctic that was when things started to change dramatically,” said Mr Cox, “everything started coming out”.

    Since that landmark retracing of the Arctic voyage, the documentary has received a strong response and a dinner has been held at the House of Lords by 150 influential people all keen to promote the tales of the veterans.

    The nation will get the chance to hear those stories when the BBC broadcast an abbreviated version of the documentary as part of their forthcoming Armistice Day programme on November 11. “I'm glad they've taken it on” said Cox, “Finally, at long last, those men get to tell their story.”

    Copies of The Worst Journey in the World can be obtained through Snowbow Documentaries at snowbow.co.uk or by calling 01273 584470.

     

    Source

    3 comments

    • Friday, 04 November 2011 16:52 posted by Peter Moors

      Great link Eugene and well done to all involved.

    • Thursday, 03 November 2011 13:18 posted by Eugene Kasevin

      As the follow up from my previous comment, the full info about the ceremony can be viewed at http://www.VictoryDayLondon.co.uk

    • Thursday, 03 November 2011 13:02 posted by Eugene Kasevin

      Sounds like a very good film indeed. Mr. Cox would be very welcomed at the annual Arctic Convoys ceremony on board HMS Belfast in May 2012.

    Related World War History Online Posts

    • Denmarks left over WWII German Minefields
      Denmarks left over WWII German Minefields Denmark is affected by antipersonnel mines left from World War II. In 1944, the entire Skallingen Peninsula in Jutland on the Danish west coast was mined with antipersonnel and antitank mines.
    • eBay - last surviving Scottish Dunkirk little ship on sale for £1
      eBay - last surviving Scottish Dunkirk little ship on sale for £1 The last remaining Scottish little ship used in the Dunkirk landings has been put up for sale on eBay for £1. The Skylark IX played an important role in Operation Dynamo, which saw hundreds of thousands of soldiers evacuated from the shores of France during WWII. After the war the vessel was used for cruises on Loch Lomond for 33…
    • Following in father's footsteps, man uncovers WWII bunkers - and a big myth
      Following in father's footsteps, man uncovers WWII bunkers - and a big myth Dr. Rudolf Gottschalk, a lawyer in a Haifa law firm equipped with a hoe helps the Haganah, British soldiers fortify Mount Carmel ahead of Nazi invasion In 1942, Jewish leaders asked a Haifa law firm to assist with a vital project: a network of defensive positions on Mount Carmel to halt the Germans if the Afrika Korps rolled into the…
    • World War II battles take center stage near Gettysburg
      World War II battles take center stage near Gettysburg Saturday for a few hours, the sights and sounds of war filled the air. For a few hours Saturday, the sights and sounds of war filled this small borough not far from the historic Civil War battle site of Gettysburg. First came the mock occupation: Scores of WWII reenactors, playing the part of Axis troops, seized the center of New…