A former Falmouth postman with an incredible war history has been posthumously awarded a medal recognising his heroic efforts in the Arctic Convoys.

William Wilson McHenry, always known as Wilson, was onboard the HMS Edinburgh when it was sunk by an enemy torpedo off Bear Island, in the Arctic Ocean, in 1942.

He has now been recognised with an Arctic Star medal, which were introduced in December 2012 to award to British Commonwealth forces serving in north of the Arctic Circle during the Second World War.

Iain said of his father: "He was the boy seaman. He was on watch at the time, in freezing conditions. He was just heading up on deck when they were torpedoed.

"Luckily he managed to survive and went to northern Russia, where he and a load of colleagues were just left."

Wilson, who was born in Ayrshire in December 1923, joined the Royal Navy in October 1939 and joined the crew of HMS Edinburgh the following October.

Falmouth Packet:

William Wilson McHenry during his time in the Royal Navy

It was just two years later that the ship was hit and 60 of the crew were lost, along with five tonnes of gold ingots that had been onboard as Stalin's payment for supplies from America. Wilson survived, however, and was taken to Murmansk in Russia, where he was left for many weeks.

He subsequently went on to serve on a variety Navy ships for the rest of the war and until his discharge in 1963.

Falmouth was his first port of call after the war and it was here that he met wife Pearl. They moved to Beacon Road and had three children, Maree, Iain and David, with Wilson working in various jobs before finally retiring in 1982 after 17 years as a postman.

Iain was inspired to apply for an Arctic Star in his father's memory after watching an episode of the Channel 4 programme My Grandparent's War, in which Redruth-born actress Kristin Scott Thomas was presented her grandfather's version of the same medal.

He too was part of the Arctic Convoys, and through this Iain discovered that as prime minister David Cameron had introduced the Arctic Star medal to honour those involved.

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As the eldest of Wilson's children, Iain's sister Maree Moore, who lives in the Beacon area of Falmouth, applied on behalf of the three siblings. David, a paramedic, also lives in Falmouth, while Iain is in Oxfordshire.

They were delighted when the Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Armed Forces eventually wrote back and enclosed the medal.

Wilson was featured in the Falmouth Packet in 1982 when a salvage mission was launched to try and recover the gold ingots that had been onboard HMS Edinburgh.

At the time Wilson spoke of his upset at what he described as "desecrating a war grave".

He died in January 1985 and was buried out to sea off Falmouth Harbour. He is remembered on a shared headstone with Pearl in Stithians parish church graveyard.