War hero who served in Royal Navy to receive Arctic Star

War hero who served in Royal Navy to receive Arctic Star

Philip Dewey

War hero who served in Royal Navy to receive Arctic Star
Ben Barnes
A seaman from Clewer Green who served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War is to be awarded the prestigious Arctic Star.

Ben Barnes, 90, of Kentons Lane, will be presented with the honour at special ceremony at Victoria Barracks, Windsor, on Friday, which will be attended by Windsor MP Adam Afriyie.

"When I got the news that I would be receiving the award I was over the moon, my son Bob got on to me and told me to go for it," said Ben.

"A lot of them had already been issued so I thought that would be an end to it, but Bob sent the application off and here we are, I'm really looking forward to it."

The Arctic Star is awarded for operational service of any length north of the Arctic Circle.

Father-of-three and grandfather-of-seven Ben signed up for the Navy at the age of 17 in 1940, and served as a gunner on HMS Glasgow, which escorted Arctic convoys on journeys between Iceland and north Russia.

Ben, originally from Poplar, east London, said: "It was cold and rough on the seas but there was a great camaraderie on the ship, we just got on with our jobs and had to make do with it.

"When you are at sea, there wasn't a lot you could do, once we had finished our jobs and were off-duty we would play cards to pass the time away."

Former bricklayer Ben, who moved to Windsor after the War, saw action at the D-Day landings in Normandy and at the Bay of Biscay, when they were bombarded by German torpedo boats.

"I saw quite a lot of things during my service and they come back to mind every now and again," said Ben.

"I shall never forget."

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