Naval reservists honoured by historic livery company

Dedication to the Navy and nation that goes beyond what might be expected was rewarded by one of the country’s oldest livery companies, who singled out two Naval reservists for the prestigious gold award.

The Fishmongers’ Company presents just a handful of its medals each year to military personnel in its affiliated units who have stood out.

This year – just before the country went into lockdown – seaman specialist Able Seaman Ryan Scott of HMS Tyne and Warrant Officer 1st Class Tony Matthews from HMS President were treated to a tour of Fishmongers’ Hall next to London Bridge, dinner, and the presentation of medals by the Worshipful Company’s Prime Warden, David Jones.

While assigned to Tyne and the Portsmouth-based Fishery Protection Squadron, Ryan has been instrumental in creating opportunities for fellow reservists to go to sea with the ‘Cod Squad’ and demonstrate to the squadron the many roles RNR personnel might fulfil if assigned to or mobilised to work with the Navy’s oldest formation, which safeguards the nation’s fishing stocks.

“To even be considered as a recipient of the Fishmonger’s Medal is very humbling, but to receive such a prestigious award make me feel extremely grateful, proud and honoured,” Ryan said.

“Having the work the Fishery Protection Squadron undertakes recognised by the Company of Fishmongers is fantastic and should be proudly felt by all who serve within it. The tasking we carry out during the eight months we spend at sea each year is vital for the UK, varied and can change at short notice. However, the experienced sailors in the squadron always deliver exemplary results.

“Hopefully I can use this award to progress the work we have been able to achieve in Tyne and encourage more reservists to serve in Offshore Patrol Vessels. It really is a fantastic opportunity to hone skills and really make a difference.”

Tony has spent 38 years in the Maritime Reserves, and by day works with the MOD to improve its ties with industry to the benefit of both.

His achievements in this position have been both significant and wide-ranging and he has shown outstanding communication and people skills all of which have fostered strong relationships and championed initiatives such as the Armed Forces Covenant and Employer Recognition Scheme. 

“It’s a real honour to be rewarded with this accolade by our affiliated livery company. There are many worthy candidates so I feel special to be recognised and will cherish this medal,” he said.

Commander Richmal Hardinge, President’s Commanding Officer, said the Mr Matthews was the unit’s “stand-out candidate” for nomination as “an ambassador and credit to the Maritime Reserves and to HMS President in particular.”