Ipswich: Convoy veteran Ron Johns dies just before medals granted

Pix Phil Morley 2/2/12
Ronald and Irene Johns celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary,

NEWS Pix Phil Morley 2/2/12 Ronald and Irene Johns celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary, 70 years at home in Ipswich.

Arctic Convoy veteran Ronald Johns has died at the age of 92, just days before the government announced a new medal was being cast to honour survivors.

Mr Johns died on New Year’s Day, just months after his wife Irene. The couple had celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in February last year.

His daughter Sheila Verrall said her father had not known about the government plans to issue the Arctic Star medal to veterans of the convoys that helped keep the Russians supplied during the darkest months of the war.

However the family may still be able to receive a medal on his behalf. The government had said there were about 200 Arctic veterans who would be eligible.

Mr Johns served on 19 convoys between 1941 and 1944 – and also saw service in the action which led to the sinking of the German battleship Scharnhorst in 1943.

In civilian life he was a lorry driver for many years and was also a keen cyclist.

Mrs Verrall said: “I live in Tolleshunt D’Arcy in Essex and right up to his late 70s, dad would think nothing of cycling from Ipswich to see me.”

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Mr Johns leaves six children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.

Until recently he lived in Mayo Court but for many years the couple lived in Norwich Road.

Mrs Verrall added: “He died peacefully with his family around him. He had not been well in recent months, but enjoyed a very full life.”

n Pay your tribute – e-mail starnews@archant.co.uk

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