Arctic convoy award for Burnley war hero

This Is Lancashire: Olive Smith and son Jack Bottomley with the Arctic medals awarded to Jack’s father, also called Jack and seen in the old photograph Olive Smith and son Jack Bottomley with the Arctic medals awarded to Jack’s father, also called Jack and seen in the old photograph

A WAR hero who died 59 years ago has been awarded two medals posthumously for his service.

Jack Bottomley, from Burnley, served on the Arctic convoys during the Second World War.

He volunteered for service at the outbreak of war in 1939, when he was 22, and worked on aircraft carriers as an air fitter.

Jack, who was a works manager at shoe firm Hollis Heels after the war, died in June 1955 at the age of just 38 after suffering a heart attack.

Last week his son, also called Jack, received the Arctic Star and the Arctic Emblem through the post, in recognition of his dad’s service during the war.

He said: “It is a very proud moment for the family. Like a lot of people, my dad never really spoke much about the war.

“He got four medals at the time but as soon as they arrived he gave them to me, and I’ve still got them to this day.”

Jack, of Bentham Avenue, Burnley, was born five months before the war, and his sister, June, who also still lives in Burnley, was born during the conflict.

Their mum, Olive, 92, now lives at the McAuley Mount care home in Padiham Road, Burnley.

Jack said: “We heard about these medals a couple of years ago, but didn’t do anything at the time.

“Last year I mentioned it again and we decided to apply for them. I spoke to Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle and then sent off the forms.

“I chased it up a couple of times. Mum is 92 and we wanted to get closure one way or another, and then last Saturday I arrived home and there was a parcel with the medals and details in.”

The Arctic Star medal is awarded for any length of service above the Arctic Circle by members of the British Armed Forces, and the Arctic Emblem is the forerunner to that award.

Comments (1)

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9:34pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Three fingered Ewood fan says...

JB long time no see! Great news to hear the medals your father earned have finally made a long awaited appearance :)
JB long time no see! Great news to hear the medals your father earned have finally made a long awaited appearance :) Three fingered Ewood fan
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