News story

Royal recognition for eight people

Eight people have been awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Merit by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of South Glamorgan Mrs Morfudd Meredith.

Copyright: RFCA for Wales

The eight were Chief Petty Officer Paul Jones of HMS CAMBRIA; Petty Officer (SCC) Alan Lewis of Newport Sea Cadet Corps; Captain Chris Cooper and Staff Sergeant Instructor Richard Cooper both of Dyfed and Glamorgan Army Cadet Force; Captain Jayne Simpson of Gwent and Powys Army Cadet Force; Flight Lieutenant Jeffrey Thomas and Flight Sergeant Stuart Ansell both of No 1 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets and Rick Hallett of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Wales.

They were presented with their award in recognition of their outstanding service and devotion to duty, at the Lord-Lieutenant’s annual award ceremony held HMS CAMBRIA in Cardiff Bay on Thursday, 22 February 2024.

Chief Petty Officer Paul Jones, from Cardiff, is described as an inspiring leader who has devoted his entire adult life to the Service. He was the ceremonial lead for the Freedom of the City and County of Cardiff for HMS CAMBRIA; a fantastic day with HMS CAMBRIA and the wider Royal Navy on parade outside the City Hall and culminating in a proud march through the City.

Petty Officer (SCC) Alan Lewis, from Cardiff, helped rebuild the Newport Unit after it had been closed due to a flood and the pandemic. Alan does all of the catering for South Wales District and such is his dedication to his role that when his van broke down en route to a district weekend he instructed the RAC recovery service to  tow him to Milford Haven so he did not let the cadets and staff down!

Captain Chris Cooper from Barry, has inspired countless cadets to step out of their comfort zone and is always willing to go the extra mile. In March last year his quick thinking and actions during a medical emergency saw him successfully administer life-saving first aid, for which he was recognised with a Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificate.

Sergeant Instructor Richard Cooper, from Cardiff, possesses an impressive array of qualifications and to date has held the role of detachment commander in three locations.

Captain Jayne Simpson, from Barry, is described as an outstanding youth leader who will always go that extra mile. She is prolific in her fundraising initiatives with all monies raised aimed at enhancing the cadet experience by providing financial support to ease the affordability of participation.

Flight Lieutenant Jeffrey Thomas, from Barry, joined 30F City of Llandaff Squadron as a young cadet in 1994 – returning after a career in the Royal Air Force to become the Officer Commander in 2006 – a role he held for many years.

Flight Sergeant Stuart Ansell of Cardiff, is a key and committed Adult Instructor in No 1 Welsh Wing who has worked tirelessly to develop the musical opportunities available to cadets. 

Rick Hallett, recently retired as Head of Finance and Human Resources from the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Wales, where he was a highly valued and popular colleague, as well as a key member of the RFCA for Wales senior management team, for over a decade

The achievements of the Lord-Lieutenant’s two cadets were also recognised and celebrated during the awards evening.

Cadet Flight Sergeant Kevin Titus of No 1 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets and Petty Officer Cadet Sean Edwards of Barry Sea Cadet Corps were selected for the prestigious Lord-Lieutenant’s cadet role after being put forward for nomination by cadet group leaders and the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Wales.

The role of Lord-Lieutenant cadet, which continues until September, includes attendance with the Lord-Lieutenant, who acts as the King’s representative, at a number of official engagements, including Remembrance events, Royal visits and parades.

There are nearly 5,000 cadets in Wales who gain skills and qualifications through working with local communities, charities and taking part in a variety of practical activities. The cadet syllabus is delivered by 1,850 volunteering adult instructors and civilian assistants, who give up their spare time on weeknights and weekends.

The awards ceremony, attended by more than 80 people, was organised by the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Wales – an organisation that has supported the Armed Forces for over 100 years.

Published 23 February 2024