Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP, Angus MacNeil has written to Prime Minister David Cameron on behalf of a family from Shader, Point on the Isle of Lewis, after their application for the Arctic Star medal, on behalf of their late father Mr Donald John Mackenzie, was refused on the grounds that the application did not meet the criteria for the Arctic Star.

The Arctic Star medal is awarded for Operation Service of any length north of the Arctic Circle from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945.

Commenting Angus MacNeil MP said:

“I have been asked by the family of the late Mr Donald John Mackenzie to help with what is an emotive issue for the entire family.  Mr Mackenzie’s widow and the family are obviously upset that the application was refused, when they know that he served as a Leading Seaman on HMS Cotton, which escorted the convoy JW65 to Iceland then returned sweeping for U-Boats and having picked up convoy TW66 to Archangel Murmansk, spent time laying mines off the Kola Inlet.

“I have spoken to a fellow crewman Stan Ballard from Croydon, who has received his Arctic Star medal, and who served with Mr Mackenzie on the HMS Cotton and he has confirmed with me that he did indeed serve with Mr Mackenzie on the Arctic convoys.  Details of the ship’s log is documented in a book compiled by Mr Ballard.  I can only conclude that some error has been made in recognising Mr Donald Mackenzie service during WW2.

“It seems quite an open and shut case, Mr Mackenzie was on the Murmansk convoys and Mr Ballard even has stories of him in organised boxing bouts against Russians when they were in Port in Russia, and they maintained a friendship for many years after the war.  With all that testament, it is clear to me that something has gone wrong somewhere, and the late Mr Mackenzie’s service in the Royal Navy has not been given the recognition it deserves.

“I have written to Prime Minister David Cameron in the hope that he can assist this family who simply wish to see that Mr Mackenzie’s service during WW2 is recognised.”