Wetherby world war hero receives medal

wet  Jim Hobson with his Arctic Star medal.  (130417M1a)
wet Jim Hobson with his Arctic Star medal. (130417M1a)

A Wetherby Second World War veteran has received the newly-created Arctic Star medal - 68 years after he fought in the Second World War.

Hero Jim Hobson, aged 86, who fought in one of the war’s hardest campaigns, was finally given the accolade this month.

Jim, who joined the Royal Navy aged 16 from the Leeds Sea Cadets, served as a signalman during the conflict.

After completing his training he was sent to the Soviet Union in 1943 where he served on the Russian Artic Convoys.

The Artic Convoys took supplies to the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1945. primarily through the ports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk.

The 86-year-old, who received his medal by post from the Ministry of Defence this month, told the News:

“It has took them 68 years to issue this medal and they could have done it at the time. However now that I have got it I am very pleased.

“I think I will give it to my grandson Franco, who is studying at Leeds University, along with my other medals.

“I am not entirely sure how many of us have been awarded the medals, but I think I am probably one of the younger ones.”

Jim has also previously received two medals from the Russian Government for his service in the war.

After the war, the signalman served in the Palestine conflict in 1946, before finally leaving the Royal Navy to join what was then Leeds City Police in 1951.

After joining the police force, Jim climbed through the ranks and finally became the City Chief Constable who led the Yorkshire Ripper murder inquiry.

He is widely credited for helping to solve the notorious murders, leading to the conviction of Peter Sutcliffe for the murders of 13 women and attempted murder of seven in 1981.

Convoy veterans who fought in the war were previously eligible for the Atlantic Star but leading figure, Cdr Eddie Grenfell campaigned for 16 years for a specific Arctic medal.

Its creation was announced by David Cameron in December.

The convoys, which sailed under the name Operation Dervish, cost 3,000 seamen their lives.