Penicuik veterans stars of the Arctic campaign

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Two Penicuik veterans have been awarded the Arctic Star medal for their part in one of the Second World War’s harshest campaigns.

Charlie Smith (89 ) and Andrew Ramsay (90) received the campaign medals from Captain David Seath at the Scottish War Blinded’s Linburn Centre.

Both men served in the Royal Navy with Andrew working on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable. Charlie was a radar operator on HMS Palomares and then HMS Norfolk. Both men had seen action in the Mediterranean before venturing into the Arctic Circle.

Andrew, who had served in the Home Guard before being called up at 18, was on board when the ship provided cover for troops landing in North Africa.

HMS Formidable was present for the 8th Army landing at Sicily in July 1943 and providing cover for the soldiers, including Andrew’s brother John, landing at Salerno, Italy. The aircraft carrier was then sent to assist the Arctic convoys in November 1943 and returned in the summer of 1944 after a refit in Belfast.

“It involved protecting the convoys but we were also attacking the Tirpiz. The RAF eventually sunk it. They flew from Russia and dropped bombs over the fjord,” said Andrew.

Read more on this in the October 17 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.




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