HM Lord-Lieutenant’s Presentation of Certificates and Greeting of Medallists






At a special ceremony held in The Officers’ Mess at RAF Henlow, by kind permission of its Station Commander, Wing Commander Rachel Mawdsley, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, presented two Lord-Lieutenant Certificates for Meritorious Service for exceptional service by non-commissioned members of the Reserve Forces, Adult Instructors of the Cadet Forces and civilians employed with units or holding recognised unpaid posts.

Dignitaries present included the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, Julian Polhill, the Mayor of Luton, Town Council Mayors of Biggleswade, Dunstable, Leighton-Linslade and Sandy, Deputy Chief Constable Garry Forsyth, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Andrew Hopkinson, Police & Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway and the President of St John Ambulance Anthony Duggan OBE.

They were joined by recipients and family members to hear details about the achievements of each person, read by Unit Officers: Squadron Leader Charles Dicks – Air Training Corps and Lt Commander Ruth Bell MBE DL RNR – Sea Cadets.


HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis with Flight Sergeant Matthew Laker-Warner and S/Lt Adrian Blumenthal Photo Credit: June Essex Photography.

The recipients honoured were:

 S/Lt (SCC) Adrian Blumenthal RNR – Bedfordshire District Sea Cadets
Flight Sergeant Matthew Laker-Warner – 1003 (Leighton Buzzard) Squadron, Air Training Corps

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis said after the ceremony: “It was a pleasure to celebrate the achievements and huge contribution of the people who were presented with Certificates of Meritorious Service at the ceremony. They are an inspiration to us all and a reminder of how much difference each of us can make when we go the extra mile to serve in these important organisations within our communities”.

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.

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 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.

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 Rev Paula Vennells CBE. June Essex Photography.

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.

L-R: Edward Wing BEM, Nerys Bell BEM, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis, Ellen Bassett BEM and Richard Moore BEM. June Essex Photography 


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.


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."

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