HM Lord-Lieutenant’s Honours Ceremony held at RAF Henlow

At a special ceremony held in The Officers’ Mess at RAF Henlow, by kind permission of Station Commander Rachel Mawdsley, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, brought together the Bedfordshire recipients who received their Honour in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List to celebrate their success, and to learn about the work behind their achievements. At the same ceremony, the Lord-Lieutenant also presented British Empire Medals to Bedfordshire recipients on behalf of HM The Queen.

Published on: 12/3/19, 7:44 pm


Dignitaries present included the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, Julian Polhill, the Mayor of Luton, Town Council Mayors of Biggleswade, Dunstable, Leighton-Linslade & Sandy, Deputy Chief Constable Garry Forsyth, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Andrew Hopkinson, Police & Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway and the President of St John’s Ambulance Anthony Duggan OBE. They were joined by recipients’ family members and friends to hear details about their achievements which were read out by the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets.

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(L-R: Professor Lynette Ryals OBE, Polly Islam MBE, Richard Gill MBE, Louise Purser MBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis, Sandra Popoola OBE, David Morgan MBE and Rev Paula Vennells CBE)

The recipients honoured in the New Year’s Honours List 2019 were:

-       Sir Alastair Nathan Cook CBE (Toddington, Central Bedfordshire)
For services to Cricket


-       Alison Jane Brittain CBE (Dunstable, Central Bedfordshire)

Chief Executive, Whitbread PLC
For services to Business


-       The Reverend Paula Anne Vennells CBE (Kempston, Bedford)

Chief Executive, Post Office Ltd
For services to the Post Office and to charity


-       Sandra Olubunkunola Popoola OBE (Luton)

Head of Capability Building and Resourcing, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
For services to Local Government and charity


-       Professor Lynette Ryals OBE (Cranfield)

Director of Cranfield
For services to Local Government and charity


-       Michelle Dawn Dobson MBE (Sandy, Central Bedfordshire)

Director for Membership and Professional Development, Institution of Engineering and Technology
For services to Engineering


-       Richard Leon Gill MBE (Leighton Buzzard, Central Bedfordshire)

Lately Police Officer, British Transport Police
For services to Policing


-       Monojaha Polly Islam MBE (Luton)
For services to charity and the UK Bangladeshi community


-       David Leonard Morgan MBE (Sandy, Central Bedfordshire)

Volunteer Case Worker for the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Rural Support Group
For services to Vulnerable People


-       Claire Suzanne Paul MBE (Bedford)

Director, Leadership Development and New Talent, BBC
For services to Apprenticeships and Education


-       Louise Purser (Luton)

ASYE Practice Assessor, Central Bedfordshire Council and Volunteer, British Association of Social Workers and Learn to Care
For services to Children's Social Care


The British Empire Medallists honoured in the New Year’s Honours List 2019 were:

-       Ellen Dorothy Bassett BEM (Westoning, Central Bedfordshire)
For services to Sport and the community in Westoning, Bedfordshire


-       Nerys Bell BEM (Henlow, Central Bedfordshire)

HIVE Information Officer, RAF Henlow
For services to RAF Personnel and their Families


-       Richard Philip Moore BEM (Arlesey, Central Bedfordshire)

Police Constable, Metropolitan Police Service
For services to Policing


-       Anthony Talbot BEM (Luton)
For services to Sport and the community in Luton


-       Edward Walter Wing BEM (Biggleswade, Central Bedfordshire)

Retained Watch Commander, Biggleswade Fire Service
For services to the Fire and Rescue Service

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(L-R: Edward Wing BEM, Nerys Bell BEM, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis, Ellen Bassett BEM and Richard Moore BEM)

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis said after the ceremony “It is so powerful to bring together all the recipients of Honours and to hear their inspirational stories of how they have gone the extra mile in a variety of ways to help build strong communities in our county and in our nation. It was wonderful to honour these people at RAF Henlow and I was delighted that VIPs, my Lord-Lieutenant Cadets and my Lieutenancy colleagues were able to join me in celebrating the best of humanity”.


Photo Credits: June Essex Photography

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