SSAFA veteran receives WW2 medal from Russia

27 May 2020

Dougie Shelley, who lives in Southend, was a Seaman Gunner on the Arctic Convoys during the Second World War. He aided the supply of vital resources to the Soviet Union, helping the war effort on the Eastern Front, before being posted to the Pacific.

He faced huge dangers during his time in the Arctic Convoy. They sailed on a route around the north of Norway, at times close to German bases, and faced attacks by German submarines, aircraft and warships, suffering huge losses. The conditions were extremely dangerous, not only due to the risks from the enemy, but due to extreme cold, gales and pack ice.

After the war, Dougie worked for the MoD, Merchant Navy and in security. He has also been attending the Veteran’s Club, run by SSAFA Southend, for many years. The charity also supported Dougie through case work at his home, including securing furniture for him.

SSAFA means a lot to me because they have done so much for me. People don’t realise how affected veterans are by the things they saw and now, what these lads out in Iraq and Afghanistan saw too. But they can all get help from SSAFA.

- Dougie Shelley, Royal Navy Veteran

The medal was awarded to Dougie for his help in defeating Nazi Germany 75 years ago. From August 1941 to May 1945, the Convoys delivered more than 4 million tons of cargo to Russia including at least 7000 airplanes, 5000 tanks, trucks, tires, fuel, food and other raw material.

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