Royal Navy recipients in Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020

Topic: PeopleHonours and awards

Sailors and Royal Marines from across the Royal Navy are among the recipients of this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Delayed because of Covid-19, a Royal Navy surgeon working on the frontline during the pandemic, the officer in charge of training sailors for ceremonial duties, and the Head of the Submarine Service, are among those named on the 2020 list.

In total 22 men and women from across the Royal Navy and Royal Marines have had their work acknowledged.

Five Royal Navy officers receive OBEs, including Surgeon Commander Sam Hutchings for his tireless work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The intensive care consultant from Portsmouth-based Joint Hospital Group (South) worked at London’s Kings College Hospital to ensure that it and others nationwide had enough critical care beds for patients requiring the highest level of medical care.

“Myself and a military colleague, both intensive care specialists here at Kings, developed a command-and-control structure,” said Sam, 47, from Hampshire, who joined the RN in 1993. “Kings is incredibly large and the busiest intensive care hospital in the UK in terms of Covid, but we had a lot of different areas.

“We ended up at one time having nine intensive care units in the hospital so the command-and-control structure ensured everyone and everything was in the right area. It is not something we normally do so we have written it up and will get it published. Our model was useful for larger intensive care units.”

Sam, who has been based at Kings since 2011, described this year as “pretty frenetic, alternating between flat-out working in March, April, May and June, some recovery over the summer and now a lot of uncertainty as we head into the winter.”

The medic, who has seen service for the RN on submarines, in Iraq, Afghanistan and in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis, was humble about his honour.

“I was surprised and a bit embarrassed because I didn’t do anything that hundreds of people didn’t do. It is a team effort and every single person deserves praise.”

Leading Writer Rebecca Fyans, who works at the Navy’s headquarters in Portsmouth, is made an MBE for her commitment to disability and inclusion and diversity issues, both across Defence and in her local community.

Well known in the RN and in Portsmouth for her charity work, she is a carers’ advocate for the Armed Forces CanDID network.

“I was really shocked to hear about the honour, it is quite amazing. I didn’t think something like this would happen to me,” said the mum-of-two, whose husband is also in the RN.

Rebecca, whose son Sebby was born in 2013 with Down syndrome, last year helped launch CanDID with an event attended by senior Armed Forces personnel and ministers.

“I was one of the speakers and bought the entire room to tears with my story. It has given people, especially senior decision-makers, an insight into what it is like to be a carer in the Armed Forces, really shone a light on it,” said Rebecca, who was named a Rising Star in Defence in 2018.

“It is a voluntary role and without the support of my family I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” added the 40-year-old, who earlier this year was named one of the most inspirational people in Portsmouth by BAE Systems.

The Navy’s State Ceremonial Training Officer, Warrant Officer 1 Eddie Wearing, was left speechless when he was told of his MBE.

Eddie, who delivers training for Royal Navy personnel at high-profile events, such as Remembrance and Palace Guarding, was rewarded for “demonstrating selfless dedication and delivering the highest ceremonial standards, bringing credit to the Royal Navy and United Kingdom.”

“I was absolutely amazed to hear,” said Eddie. “I’ve just come back from Bahrain after a six-month sabbatical and I’m in isolation. The captain (of HMS Collingwood) rings me and says “are you sitting down?”

“When she told me I didn’t know what to say. “Mr Wearing, I don’t think I’ve known you to be speechless.”

“It was my dad’s 70th birthday and, as he is ex-forces, I have told them. My mum is already buying a hat.

“I have been in this role since 2015 and I absolutely love the job. It is made very easy by the staff working for me.”

Eddie, who joined the RN in July 1991, lists Battle of Jutland centenary commemorations in Kirkwall in 2016 and the D-Day 75 parade last year as his two stand-out moments of his current job.

Head of the Submarine Service, Commodore Jim Perks is made a CBE for his work as Commander of Faslane Flotilla.

Cdre Perks said:  “I am hugely honoured and humbled by this award, but it is the superb commitment and dedication of our submariners and particularly their families, that truly deserve this honour – my thanks go to them.

“Having joined the Royal Navy, as a junior rating, 36 years ago, to find myself as Head of the Submarine Service; this has been an incredible journey for me and my family – I am very much ‘Made in the Royal Navy!’”

Admiral Tim Fraser, Vice Chief of Defence Staff, becomes a Sir. He is made a Knight Commander in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath for his outstanding contribution to the defence of the UK.

Companions of the Bath go to Rear Admiral Jim Macleod, Defence Services Secretary, for his work, including the management of D-Day 75 and the Invictus Games, Rear Admiral Mike Utley, for his work as Commander UK Carrier Strike Group and the Maritime Lead for the D-Day 75 commemoration, and a CBE for Commodore James Parkin, for his work as Commander Littoral Strike Group.

Commando Chef Mike Beaton receives an MBE for his positive impact on Royal Navy and Royal Marines recruiting, in particular in the BAME arena. The Royal Marines Colour Sergeant, who is the Officer in Charge, Royal Marines Educational Awareness Team, has kept his legion of social media followers entertained during the pandemic with his entertaining cooking sessions.

“It’s unbelievable, I left school with no education and now I am being awarded an MBE,” said Mike. “What a privilege it is to work with young people as a serving Royal Marine – Boom!”

The following personnel receive OBEs: Commodore Bob Anstey, Assistant Chief of Staff Submarines, Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland; Commodore Paul Carroll, head of Type 31 Frigate and Innovation and Future Capability Team, Defence Equipment and Support; Colonel Mike Geldard, Defence Attache at the British Embassy in Harare, South Africa;. Captain Kevin Noakes, Combat Systems Design Authority – Surface Warships.

The following personnel receive MBEs: Captain Thomas Buck, Regimental Signals Officer for 45 Commando; Lieutenant Colonel Will Clarke, Officer Commanding Special Services Support Group/Staff Officer Plans Headquarters 3 Commando Brigade; Submariners Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering Submarines) Andrew Hey and engineering officer Lieutenant Ian McInnes; CPO Communications Technician M McLauchlan; Lieutenant Commander Joel Roberts, Operations Officer aboard HMS Dragon; Colour Sergeant R Selbie, Leading Assault Engineer, 45 Commando; Major David West, Officer Commanding Environmental Training Team, Commando Helicopter Force; Lieutenant Commander Louise Wooller, First Lieutenant HMS Raleigh.

Colour Sergeant D Hill, Company Quartermaster Sergeant, Commando Company, Royal Marines Reserve London, is awarded the Queen’s Voluntary Reserve Medal.


It’s unbelievable, I left school with no education and now I am being awarded an MBE

Colour Sergeant Mike Beaton