THEY come from all walks of life, from politics to Girlguiding, but all of the county’s New Year Honours recipients have one thing in common – the impact they have had on life in Gloucestershire.
Fred Goode, 92, from Churchdown, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his work with the Burma Star Association in Gloucestershire.
The Royal Navy veteran said: “My wife kept this secret since January and I only found out about it in November.
“I was never in Burma, but I have great respect for the people that were there. They did not get the kudos they deserved. I was in the Navy for 38 years.
“I feel very honoured. I have every respect for those men who fought in Burma, they didn’t live, they just existed and fought to survive.
“As I see it, they should have had more respect, many of these men do not talk about their experiences and that speaks volumes.”
Also honoured is Gloucestershire County Council leader Mark Hawthorne, who will receive an MBE for services to local government.
He said he felt surprised and honoured when he heard the news.
“Everything I have been involved with for the last 16 years has been as a result of working with some fantastic people both at member and officer level,” he said.
“Everything we have achieved has been done collectively. This is an award for them as much as it is for me.
“As a politician, it was hard to keep quiet about it. I told my parents over the weekend as it was the last chance I had before it became public and my mother was thrilled. It is an absolute honour.”
Girl Guide leader Pam Cottle, 82, has been honoured with the British Empire Medal after 60 years’ voluntary work with the youth movement.
Mrs Cottle, from Minchinhampton, said she was very grateful but a “little embarrassed”.
“It seems stupid giving me something for something I have so enjoyed doing,” she said.
A schoolteacher by profession, Mrs Cottle started out as a Guide leader in her home area of Sharpness and later became a trainer of other Guiders.
Currently president of Girlguiding UK’s Gloucestershire West Division, Mrs Cottle was also a Guides’ camp adviser.
“I specialised in outdoor things. We still have a lot to offer, there is no doubt about it,” she said.
Founder member and chairman of Gloucester Civic Trust Robin Morris receives the MBE for services to the community, particularly heritage in Gloucester.
Mr Morris, 81, a solicitor, said he was “very pleased” with the recognition of the trust’s work.
“It is probably due to everybody else’s effort really,” he said.
Trust chairman for almost 30 years, Mr Morris said he was proudest of gaining Gloucester’s recognition as a heritage city.
“It was neglected for so many years,” he said. “We now have one of the best records for heritage open days in the country.”
After 35 years of helping bikers to be safer on the county’s roads, retired police officer Martyn Hillier has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service.
Mr Hillier established BikeSafe in 1978 as one of the country’s first police initiatives to reduce accidents for motorcyclists.
Mr Hillier said he believed it was the longest running similar police initiative in the country.
“You can never prove you have prevented an accident but I hope that we have,” he said.
Mr Hillier, 60, retired from Gloucestershire Police a year ago. He served 41 years with the force, and joined in 1971, the year that his father, also a police officer, died.
“I was allowed to change my collar number to my dad’s, so for 63 years their was a 520 Hillier in Gloucestershire police.”
He was stunned to receive notification of the medal.
“It was a complete surprise and I’m very humbled,” he said.
Chris Martin, 64, retired as a retained firefighter in Lydney, where he lives with wife Lyn, in May this year, but he still co-ordinates much of the fire and rescue service’s retained operation from its Gloucester headquarters.
He is receiving an MBE for his dedication to the fire service.
He said he was “totally amazed” by the news.
“I couldn’t quite believe it really,” he said. “I know it’s a cliché, and people can say it as much as they like, but as long as you work with good people, that’s all that matters.”
Another retained firefighter, Mike Houghton, will pick up a British Empire Medal for his dedicated work in Tetbury. The granddad-of-four retired this month aged 65, 49 years after starting.
“I’m very honoured,” he said. “To be honest, I just love the job I did. I did 49 years on a job I always wanted and I just felt like I was doing my duty. For somebody to nominate me, I feel grateful and very honoured.”
Being from Tetbury, encounters with royalty are relatively common for Mike. Prince Charles lives just around the corner at Highgrove, but he’d have no qualms if the Prince of Wales stepped in to hand over the medal on the day.
“I’m a bit of a royalist,” said Mike. “I’ve met Charles a few times and I’d like to meet the Queen, very much.”
County council chief executive Pete Bungard said: “It is so rewarding to see the services of our retained firefighters recognised through the New Year’s Honours.
“In addition to their honours award, I really want to record the county council’s thanks for their fantastic service.”
Well known names from stage and screen have also received honours in the New Year list. They include:
* The Good Life actress Penelope Keith becomes a Dame
* Murder She Wrote star Angela Lansbury has also been honoured with the same title
* Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins becomes an OBE
* Loose Women star and actress Lynda Bellingham also receives the same honour
* Veteran TV and radio broadcaster Nicholas Parsons becomes a CBE
* Renowned sculptor Antony Gormley receives a knighthood
* Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, whose company redeveloped Cashes Green Hospital in Stroud as sustainable homes, becomes a MBE
* Gavin and Stacey writer and actress Ruth Jones becomes a MBE