Penarth war hero's widow accepts Arctic Star medal he waited decades for
1:23pm Tuesday 1st October 2013 in Penarth news
THE widow of a Penarth war hero has spoken of her emotion at receiving a posthumous medal her husband had waited decades for, just months after he died.
Mary Lovegrove accepted the newly-created Arctic Star medal on behalf of her husband, Herbert “Stormy” Lovegrove, who completed some of the most dangerous journeys of the Second World War.
The Arctic Convey veteran delivered supplies to northern Russia in severe cold and perilous storms up to nine times – a journey Winston Churchill dubbed “the worst in the world”.
But he never got to hold the medal his bravery deserved, as he died earlier this year from complications following a fall.
Instead, his wife was presented with the medal – previously the subject of a bureaucratic block by the UK Government – by Prince Michael of Kent, at Stormy’s naval base, HMS Cambria, in Sully.
Speaking at her home on Dinas Road, Mary said it was a “special occasion”.
“Stormy fought hard for this medal,” she said. “I was honoured to pick it up on his behalf.”
Mary said Prince Michael, who campaigned for veterans to receive the Russian honour, said it was a travesty it had taken so long to be authorised.
“It’s a shame Stormy died before he could pick it up himself,” Mary added.
“We miss him but he left us with so many memories and we have lots to look back on.”
The medal was presented in a box with an inscription reading: “CPO Herbert William Lovegrove, who completed nine Russian conveys so unselfishly and with great dignity, in the most hostile conditions of that cruel sea that took the lives of so many young and brave.”
The icy voyages claimed over 3,000 lives with the supply ships under constant threat of attack by German submarines.
More than 500 mourners attended Stormy's funeral at All Saints Church in June, where a guard of honour also paid homage to his achievements.
The Arctic Star will take pride of place in a room at his family home, dedicated to his naval service.
Pictures and awards adorn every wall, including his British Empire Medal.
“The navy was his life,” Mary added. “He loved it.”