Four County Down Reservists have been honoured at a ceremony at Hillsborough Castle, earning Lord Lieutenant’s Certificates for Outstanding Meritorious Service Above and Beyond The Call of Duty.
The prestigious award is second only to one awarded by Her Majesty The Queen.
Captain Terry Bashford from Bangor was honoured for 50 years of service, and his most recent role as second in command of G Company, the Army Cadet Force, was highlighted.
Captain Bashford was fulsomely praised for his commitment to the youth of Northern Ireland and for a life of service.
He was described as “a most worthy recipient of the Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate of Merit” by the master of ceremonies. Presenting the award and congratulations was Colonel The Earl of Erne, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Fermanagh.
Angela Carlisle from Donaghadee received her Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate from Lord Erne in recognition of 10 year’s service with 152 (Ulster) Transport Regiment (Volunteers) where she serves as HQ Squadron Clerk, giving “exceptional service” throughout.
She was described as “a remarkable woman” whose work ethic and tireless, selfless commitment made her “a most worthy recipient of the Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate”.
Major Jane Johnson from Helen’s Bay was commended for the long-serving role she has enjoyed with 204 (North Irish) Field Hospital (Volunteers), balancing a highly demanding job with a civilian position as an Intensive Treatment-trained nurse working with children. Major Johnson’s service in Camp Bastion in Helmand Province of Afghanistan was particularly praised.
She was part of a team which looked after 1,000 casualties over 91 days, running a tiny four-bedded Intensive Care Unit at 100 percent occupancy throughout.
With Afghan children, her specialist pediatric skills and caring approach made her a huge asset and, according to the citation which accompanies her award, “she made a substantial difference to the survival of many of these children, with calm skill and consummate care”.
Afghanistan was the pinnacle of her TA career and she was “absolutely outstanding”.
Lord Erne also presented a Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate of Merit to Major Ian McLean from Bangor, recognising his long-standing service with 206 (Ulster) Artillery and with the Queen’s University Officer Training Corps.
Across 25 years of service, Major McLean was praised for “outstanding achievement”.
The citation which accompanied his award highlighted Major McLean as a man who “has been famous for always taking the time to nurture the newest of officers and recruits”.
“In sum, he has been an exceptionally dedicated member of the Territorial Army whose loyalty, dedication and compassion for others are an inspiration to all,” said the citation.