In a moving ceremony in Glasgow’s City Chambers last Friday, World War two Arctic convoy veteran Johnny McBryde was presented with the Ushakov Medal for bravery by the Consul General of the Russian Federation.
Ninety-two-year old Johnny had served his country during the 1939-1945 conflict serving with the 17th Destroyer Flotilla on HMS Obedient guarding Allied shipping taking supplies to Russian ports, despite the constant threat of German U-boats in one of the most dangerous and treacherous missions in the entire war. Over 3000 sailors were lost during the Arctic Convoy campaign. But their dedication and sacrifice helped keep the then USSR in the war on the side of the Allies after they were invaded by the Nazis in 1941.
Johnny and his wife Christine, from Port William, were accompanied by their son Keith at the presentation where he was one of around 40 Arctic Convoy veterans to receive the medal from the Russian Consul General, Mr Andrey Pritsepov, who was representing President Vladimir Putin.
The Consul General said: “The Ushakov Medal is one of Russia’s most important naval awards, presented only to those who demonstrated courage in sea warfare.
“These medals are well-deserved by the Scottish veterans of the Arctic Convoys who sailed alongside our fathers and grandfathers on extremely dangerous missions and returned home victorious against all odds.”
The Ushakov medal is named after Russia’s most acclaimed Navy Commander Fyodor Ushakov. The eighteenth century Russian hero never lost a battle as was proclaimed Patron Saint of the Russian Navy. The award was established in 1944, during World War Two.
Two days later Johnny led the parade in Port William on Remembrance Sunday to the war memorial when he laid a wreath to remember the fallen.