Tributes paid to 95-year-old Norfolk war veteran

Richard Gould received his Arctic Convoy medal from the Russians in 2014. Picture: Ian Burt

Richard Gould received his Arctic Convoy medal from the Russians in 2014. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Tributes have been paid to a 95-year-old war veteran who was honoured for his bravery by the Russians.

Richard Gould, from Downham Market, picked up the Ushakov medal at the Russian Embassy two years ago.

He spent about 18 months on the Arctic convoys delivering essential supplies to the then Soviet Union during the Second World War.

Jackie Dent, one of his four children, said: 'He was born before the advent of electric light bulbs and suffered from the effects of both world wars. He was a true hero; once you had met him, you would never forget him.'

A memorial service will be held at Mintlyn crematorium, near King's Lynn, at 3.15pm on Tuesday, November 22.

Mrs Dent added: 'As he was literally the last man standing in his and my mum's respective families, the service will be live streamed to his multitude of grandchildren, great and great-great-grandchildren around the world. He was a giant of a man, loved by so many and never to be forgotten.'

Aged 14, Mr Gould left education to join an army school, before joining the navy in 1940 at 19 as a gunner.

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His reason for joining was that he fancied wearing the smart clothes.

He worked on HMS Fiji which was sunk by the Germans in the Battle of Crete in May 1941, before boarding HMS Howe in August 1942.

HMS Howe supported Russian convoys and the work was known as 'suicide missions' by many of the men who sailed on them, some of whom were just 16.

German U-boats and aircraft were intent on stopping supplies going to Russia, and more than 3,000 young men perished in the icy waters of the North Atlantic, their bodies never to be recovered.

Mr Gould served on the Russian convoys in 1942-43. In 1946, he was released after five years' service, and volunteered to work down the mines. He later worked on the docks in the East End of London for 30 years before retiring to Norfolk. He died on November 3.

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