A BURY care home went all out to mark Remembrance Day by decorating rooms with poppies and putting up patriotic bunting.

The occasion had special meaning for two of the residents at Bank House Care Home as both played key roles with the armed forces.

Herbert Reay, now 101, spent six years in the Royal Navy on the Arctic convoys protecting merchant ships from attack from German U-boats and fighter planes ensuring that essential supplies got through to Russia as war raged.

Crews worked in brutal conditions with ice often forming on the ship’s steelwork and Herbert was mentioned in despatches for his work.

His efforts were rewarded earlier this year when more than 55 years after the end of the war he was awarded the Ushakov Medal by the Russian government. The medal is awarded to veterans “for personal courage and valour shown during World War Two while participating in the Arctic Convoys”.

Herbert served on HMS Kenya which played a key role in the convoys and also undertook a top secret mission. Documents recently released have revealed that in 1942, Kenya transported 10 tons of gold from the Soviet Union to the United States to repay earlier loans and as payment for wartime goods.

The second Bank House resident with a particular connection to Remembrance Day is Anna Novak who spent 10 years as an entertainment officer in the Merchant Navy.