Arctic convoy veteran 'represents fallen comrades' at meeting with Prime Minister
10:10am Monday 19th May 2014 in News
A 93-year-old Arctic Convoy veteran has had a sweet encounter at 10 Downing Street.
John Farrow of Tenby was invited to tea by David Cameron, who asked to meet him after hearing he was taking a tour of the Houses of Parliament.
John was just expecting a handshake in a corridor, so was thrilled to be taken into the White Room at No.10 for tea and a chat with the PM.
“I was wearing my Tenby tie and gave Mr Cameron some Pembrokeshire honey, which he said he would try on his porridge,” said John. “He told me how much he had enjoyed his recent visit to Pembrokeshire and how beautiful he thinks it is.”
John was a gunner on board HMS Trinidad when it torpedoed itself in 1942, with the loss of 32 lives, and he is believed to be the last surviving sailor from the vessel. After the war, he brought his family from the north of England to Tenby, where he worked as a French polisher and cabinet maker.
“The White Room is where visiting heads of state and royalty are entertained, so for a lad from Salford - who used to walk the five miles to work each day to save the one penny bus fare - to be sitting where the Queen and President Obama had been entertained was just unbelievable.”
It was after John was presented with his Arctic Convoy medal in Scotland last year that his MP, Simon Hart, invited him to visit Westminster - tipping off Mr Cameron that the special visitor would be in town.
The Prime Minister left a cabinet meeting to spend time with John, who admitted: “I told him how much younger he looked than on tv, but he was more interested to hear about my experiences on board HMS Trinidad.
As well as being given a tour of No. 10, John also met Chancellor George Osborne, who came over to introduce himself and shake his hand.
“Altogether, it was an unbelievable experience which I will be re-living for a long time,” said the veteran.
“I was proud to be representing my fallen comrades when I met with the Prime Minister.”
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