An Oamaru resident received a medal from the Russian Embassy yesterday for his participation in the Arctic Convoys in World War 2.
Ron Brockett (94) was sent the Commemorative Medal “70 Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945” by the Embassy of the Russian Federation of New Zealand.
Mr Brockett, who was in the Navy for nine years, said he was very proud to receive the medal and hoped to wear it along with his other Russian and British medals at some stage.
The medal was given to him for his participation in the Arctic Convoys of the Allied Forces to the Russian Northern sea ports during World War 2.
A letter which accompanied the medal stated that “the Russian people remember keenly and appreciate a substantial contribution of New Zealand as a whole and your individual bravery and resolution in fighting against the Nazi aggression”.
Mr Brockett, who was born in Surrey, England, joined his first ship the H.M.S. Somali three days before the war broke out and worked in the engine room.
He said he fondly remembered his time in Russia because the people made them feel so welcome.
“Those are lovely memories.”
Mr Brockett and his wife moved to New Zealand in 1951 where they resided in Roxburgh, Milton, Tekapo and Otematata before moving to Kakanui in 1974.
He now lives at the Iona Rest Home and Hospital.
By Ruby Harfield
PHOTO: RUBY HARFIELD – Ron Brockett