A REDDITCH man has been proudly presented with a newly minted Arctic Star medal, awarded posthumously to his father for his actions in the Royal Navy.
Peter Bridle, a resident of Redditch, is the son of the late Lieutenant Cyril James Bridle R.N. Cyril served in the Royal Navy from the age of 16 for 35 years on famous ships including HMS Hood, HMS Sheffield, HMS Indomitable and HMS Centaur. He saw action on the seas off Africa, India, Japan, China, Burma and in the North and South Atlantic.
For six years he served on the town class light cruiser, HMS Birmingham, and at times during the Second World War, was based on that ship at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys.
It was from there that he sailed north of the Arctic Circle on several missions. One such mission was on May 7, 1941, to intercept the German weather ship Munchen, to obtain its Enigma coding machine and its code books.
When found, the Munchen was scuttled by its crew but not before the Enigma and codes were recovered by the naval boarding party from HMS Birmingham.
For these Arctic operations Lt. Bridle has been posthumously presented with the newly minted Arctic Star. His son Peter had applied for it in his father’s name.
When asked what the honour would have meant for his father, Peter, who has researched his father’s service record, said: ”My father spoke very little of his wartime experiences. He always cited his signing of The Official Secrets Acts.
"He told my mother he had had a ‘lucky’ war. This was true but only because he survived dangerous actions in various parts of the world.
"I am sure he would have been pleased to have had his service in Arctic waters recognised at last."
Cyril’s father George Henry Bridle was also a Royal Navy man who fought at the Battle of Jutland in the First World War.