Men from Falmouth, Penryn and Helston who endured the “worst journey in the world” on convoys bringing supplies to a beleagured Russia during World War Two has been recognised by Russia.

Reginald Alfred Hawkins from Falmouth, Harold Hallett Thompson from Penryn, Reginald Hunt and Robert Kenneth John Miller from Helston and Edward George Watts from Perranwell were among forty two men from Cornwall honoured for their part in the WWII Arctic Convoys.

Tikhon Kirichenko, the third secretary of the Russian embassy, presented Ushakov medals to the veterans at a special service at New County Hall, after the Russian embassy said the convoys allowed Russian soldiers to defeat the Germans on the Eastern Front. He was joined by Cornwall Council chairman John Wood, the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall and representatives from the Armed Forces at the medal presentation ceremony at New County Hall in Truro.

More than 3,000 men died during the maritime campaign that Winston Churchill was said to have called the "worst journey in the world".

The Russian Embassy wrote to survivors in May 2012 that it intended to award them with the Medal of Ushakov as a symbol of the country's gratitude.

On March 10, 2014, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed a decree awarding the Ushakov Medal to the British veterans of the Arctic Convoys.

Cornwall Council Chairman John Wood said: “It is a great honour and privilege to be a part of such an important ceremony. The recognition and subsequent awards are long overdue. The passing of the years does not diminish the significance of the contribution made by these brave and determined veterans.

“This is recognised by the fact that the Russian Government is making these awards.

“Without the Arctic convoys the outcome of the war could well have been very different. At last these unsung heroes, who played such an important part in the war effort as they took part in hellish Arctic convoy missions through the North Sea in winter, are being recognised for their immense contribution to the allies war effort.”

The group are among 3,000 British veterans of the Arctic Convoys who will be presented with Ushakov medals.

The Ushakov medal is awarded to sailors who have displayed courage in the course of defending Russia.