St Ives man honoured for his role in manning Arctic Convoys during Second World War

A young Reg Pegram when he was a sailor on HMS Cambrian in the Arctic Convoys.

A young Reg Pegram when he was a sailor on HMS Cambrian in the Arctic Convoys. - Credit: Archant

St Ives businessman, Reg Pegram has been awarded the Ushenko medal for serving on the Russian Arctic Convoys during the Second World War.

Reg has been married to his wife, a former mayor of St. Ives, Pru Pegram, for 69 years and she was b

Reg has been married to his wife, a former mayor of St. Ives, Pru Pegram, for 69 years and she was beside him as always when the medal was presented by a representative from the Russian embassy. - Credit: Archant

Reg, who celebrated his 90th birthday in July was not able to attend a presentation ceremony at the Russian Embassy, so the award was made in his home.

Born in 1925, Reg joined the navy in 1943 as an 18-year-old and after his initial training was sent to Scapa Flow where he joined his first ship, the destroyer HMS Cambrian, and found himself bound for Murmansk in Northern Russia crossing the freezing enemy filled waters of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

The journeys were extremely challenging and, as a young anti-aircraft gunner, he was responsible for protecting his convoys from airborne attack as well as helping to keep the decks clear of ice.

He said: “We had to keep ahead of the ice otherwise it would make the ship top heavy and sink us - so we used to work hard to do that - and of course, the colder it got, the more ice there was, so the longer we had to spend on deck.”

Reg, who founded the Town Crier newspaper group in 1973, said on receiving the medal: “I was surprised and delighted to be honoured in this way. We were just doing our job so it’s nice to think that even after all this time, our efforts have not been forgotten.”

Later in the war, he was to spend time escorting ships across the Atlantic to America and at the end of the war in Europe, he spent his time in the seas around Sri Lanka.

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