IT took more than 70 years to receive it but Edwin Leadbetter said that finally being honoured for his role in the Arctic convoys had left him "over the moon."

Edwin, 92, was almost left behind in the honours for the Arctic Star and the prestigious Ushakov Medal for his services to Russia in the hazardous voyages as the Ministry of Defence reportedly decided his ship was not eligible.

But now the hero of the Arctic convoys in the Second World War who almost missed out on a medal because he was one degree too far south has finally been officially honoured.

Edwin's shipmates have received medals despite being on the same ship during voyages dubbed "the most dangerous journey in the world" by Winston Churchill.

His family hit out at the snub, defence chiefs are have performed a U-turn - and yesterday he finally received the Arctic Star, the Arctic emblem and his veteran's badge, from Captain Chris Smith in a ceremony at the Govan shipyard.

He has also been called to the Russian Consulate in Edinburgh next month where he could receive the Ushakov medal.

Edwin, who is a great grand father, said: "It has been a long wait, but I'm over the moon."

Liz McKenna, Edwin's daughter, said: "He applied years ago but the MoD said his ship was one degree of latitude out and so he didn't qualify for the medals. It's rubbish, as the ship was heavily involved in the Arctic convoys."

"But he is over the moon to finally get it. He was very proud and the Navy were lovely to him.

"They even presented him with a bottle of limited edition Arctic convoy whisky. It was a lovely day and he is as proud as punch."

The news comes after Edwin's shipmate George Barker, who also served on the anti-submarine escort carrier HMS Fencer, got the Ushakov medal three years ago. George died a week after receiving his medal.

Edwin, from Glasgow, served in the Navy from October 1943 until February 1947.

He served on HMS Fencer from March to October 1944, providing cover for convoys and for attacks on German battleship Tirpitz.

More than 3,000 seamen died during the Arctic missions to keep supply lines open to Soviet ports as they fought Hitler's armies.

After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin demanded help from Britain and its allies.

The most direct route was by sea around north Norway to the ports of Murmansk and Archangel.

The route passed through a narrow funnel between the Arctic ice pack and German bases in Norway and was very dangerous.

Many of the convoys were attacked by German submarines, aircraft and warships.

Conditions were among the worst suffered by any Allied sailors.

As well as the Germans, they faced extreme cold, gales and pack ice.

The loss rate for ships was higher than any other Allied convoy route.

In 2010 Russia honoured 30 Scottish veterans who transported vital supplies by sea during the Second World War.

They were presented with a medal in Edinburgh to mark the 65th anniversary of the end of the conflict.

A new festival called the Arctic Convoys that operated from Loch Ewe, near Poolewe in Wester Ross, to Russia with supplies of food and weapons to help it fight invading German forces.

The Loch Ewe World War Two Festival 75 years since the first of those convoys last month.

Veterans of the convoys and representatives from Russia and the USA attended the festival's events.

These included a memorial service at Rubha Nan Sasan at the head of Loch Ewe and the site of defences during the war.

Mrs McKenna added: "I grew up listening to tales of the convoys, dad would often talk about them but rarely outside of the family circle.

"They are amazing stories and I will never get bored of hearing about them. They were all heroes."