LIFELONG Royal British Legion member and community volunteer Etty Thompson, from Blacon, has spoken of her joy after receiving a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year honours list.
The honour is the latest in a long line of awards and special recognitions for grandmother Etty, 81, who has dedicated more than 50 years to the women’s section of the Royal British Legion, as well as tirelessly campaigning for her community for the last five decades.
On learning of her special Queen’s honour, Etty said: “I am speechless, completely lost for words. When I received the letter I had to read it over and over again – it did not seem real. It has only just begun to sink in. I am so honoured and will be accepting it on behalf of the people of Blacon, to show that Blacon is a good place, where good things happen, and where good people live. I am so proud, and I get so much satisfaction out of helping others, It is within me help others.”
As well as being presented with her medal, Etty will also attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in the new year.
Etty, of Saughall Road, joined the Royal British Legion Ladies section in the mid 1960s following the birth of her daughter, Julie.
Soon after, Etty and late husband Ray, who was attached to the Royal Signals, jointly served as husband and wife Standard Bearers for the County.
In the years to follow Etty would be named County Standard Bearer and Deputy Standard Bearer on a great many occasions, but perhaps one of her proudest moments came when she took part in the late Queen Mother’s 100th Birthday Parade at the Horse Guards, and also when she paraded for the Queen in the late 1970s.
Etty was also named Parade Marshall and Vice president of the RBL Women’s section, and has been commended with the RBL Gold award and poppy award to name but many.
More recently Etty has been presented with a string of community awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to improve life in Blacon. She has been awarded the Blacon Community award, The Harold Tomlins Award, and the Joe Rose Pride of Blacon Award, in memory of Etty’s fellow veteran volunteer Joe Rose.
Etty represented the Blacon Community Trust to Buckingham Palace when the Trust received a Queen’s Jubilee Award, and in March 2009 Etty enjoyed a cup of tea with the Prince of Wales during his visit to the Blacon Community Trust headquarters.