Dr Andrew Murrison, MP for South West Wiltshire and Defence Minister, has welcomed the Government’s announcement that Second World War heroes who served on the Arctic Convoys and in Bomber Command will be eligible to receive new recognition.

Families of those who died will also be able to apply for the new awards in recognition of their loved ones’ bravery. Up to a quarter of a million veterans and families could be eligible for the awards.

Production of the new Arctic Star medal and Bomber Command clasp has begun already and living veterans and widows will be the first in line to receive the new awards from as early as March.

Winston Churchill famously singled the Arctic Convoys out as the “most dangerous run of the war” and the men of Bomber Command faced extremely high casualty rates: 55,000 out of 125,000 who served died.

Dr Murrison said: “This is really good news and a long overdue recognition of those who fought for our freedom in the Second World War.”

Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Mark Francois said: “All those who served our country in Bomber Command and on the Arctic Convoys deserve nothing but the utmost respect and admiration from us. That’s why I am delighted that these special individuals will in the next few weeks begin to receive the Bomber Command clasp and Arctic Star that they have so long deserved.

“I am also pleased to announce that the families of those no longer alive will also be able to apply for these awards in recognition of their loved one’s bravery.”