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Birthday Honours for Guildford Residents

Published on: 6 Jun, 2022
Updated on: 8 Jun, 2022

During all the celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee two residents of Guildford Borough were announced as recipients of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Valerie Watson MBE

Valerie Watson of Normandy a welfare office manager for the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment, is awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to soldiers and their families.

Valerie said: “I’m still in shock and it’s all surreal – I’m just a normal person and I’ve been honoured for doing my job.

“When I received the letter I burst into tears.”

In her role, she deals with the complexities of heritage, culture, and tradition of Gurkha service in the second-largest Gurkha unit in the British Army.

Valerie Watson at the Evolve Bootcamp

Valerie was appointed as the Unit Welfare Office Manager in 2006 after the Regiment’s relocation from Colchester to Aldershot.

Asked how she celebrated, Valerie said: “My family took me out for a lovely meal on Thursday night and on Friday morning I celebrated with my friends at Evolve Bootcamp based in Merrist Wood and had Pimms after our training session. The only way to celebrate, lol!”

Benjamin Green of Puttenham was awarded the BEM (British Empire Medal) for community service in Puttenham, the village he moved to in 1943 as a four-year-old, and returned to after nine years service in the RAF.

Benjamin Green BEM Photo Nigel Green

Benjamin received a letter telling him he had been nominated about a month before and had to complete several forms confirming he accepted the award.

As well as serving on the parish council, he helped with the village youth club and is still a volunteer at Puttenham Infant School where he helps run the gardening club. “I have been given the award for doing things I love doing,” Benjamin told The Dragon. The medal is the icing on the cake.”

With all the Jubilee activity Benjamin, 82, has decided to put the celebrations on hold until the presentation.  “I have promised to show the children at school the medal, once I have it.”

And in nearby Waverley, Liz Townsend was awarded a BEM.

The Liberal Democrat borough and parish councillor received the award for services to the people and community of Cranleigh.

Liz Townsend BEM

Liz serves as Surrey County Councillor for Cranleigh, borough councillor on Waverley Borough Council for Cranleigh East and as parish councillor on Cranleigh Parish Council. She has devoted seven years of her life to the people of Cranleigh as an elected representative.

Cllr Townsend said: “I am delighted and very honoured to be recognised in this way and especially on this very special occasion. I don’t believe that I do any more than a councillor should be doing, so to be nominated and accepted to receive this acknowledgement from the community in Cranleigh is deeply humbling.”


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