9 April 2015
Scotland has a great affinity with servicemen and women – past and present.
They have served the country and continue to protect the democratic freedoms we still enjoy today and the First Minister believes they should be honoured.
World War II saw the worst single disaster in British maritime history when the HMT Lancastria troopship was sunk by German dive bombers on June 17, 1940 as the British Expeditionary Force withdrew from France, with only an estimated 2,500 people out of the 9,000 strong crew and evacuees surviving.
The Scottish Government commissioned a medal in 2008 to honour HMT Lancastria survivors and descendants of those who lost their lives and more than 375 medals have since been issued across the world.
The First Minister recently wrote to more of those claiming medals in acknowledgement of the unique scale of the tragedy that befell so many servicemen and civilian refugees.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the disaster, and also the closure of the medal application process, with the last day for applications the 15th of May.
The First Minister and Veterans Minister Keith Brown are therefore appealing for families of service personnel on board HMT Lancastria when it was bombed on June 17, 1940 to claim medals honouring their family members.
The last day for applications is the May 15, 2015 and anyone who believes they are eligible can access an application form either online or by contacting:
Defence Policy Unit
St Andrews House