Renfrewshire Defence Personnel Receive Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificates at Paisley Abbey

Colonel Peter McCarthy presents a framed Lord-Lieutenant's Certificate to 102 Field Squadron's Warrant Officer 2 Gordon Mullen

Four Army Reservists, an Army Reserve civil servant and two Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs) have been recognised by the Lord-Lieutenant for Renfrewshire for their outstanding levels of service. 

The ceremony, held at Paisley Abbey on Thursday 14 March, saw recipients receive their Certificates of Meritorious Service from Colonel Peter McCarthy. 

Reservists from 102 Field Squadron stand together as they receive a briefing on the award ceremony proceedings

Colonel McCarthy, who serves as The King’s personal representative for the Lieutenancy of Renfrewshire, signed and presented each certificate to thank the recipients for their unwavering efforts and contributions to Defence.

‘I warmly congratulate this year’s recipients of the Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate of Meritorious Service. Reservists are remarkable people who make a vital commitment to our country alongside their civilian careers. These awards recognise outstanding service in their military roles, which also brings a wealth of skills and experience to their civilian employers.

‘The Cadet Force Adult Volunteers make an equally valuable contribution in selflessly devoting their time to encourage, inspire and motivate young people from every part of our community. I am also delighted to see my Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets recognised. They support me in my public role throughout the year and in doing so are the finest ambassadors for their respective Sea, Army and Air Cadet organisations.’

Colonel Peter McCarthy delivers an address to the award winners and their guests in Paisley Abbey

Four Reservists and a civil servant from 102 Field Squadron, Paisley’s local Army Reserve unit, received the coveted awards from Colonel McCarthy. The Squadron, who are part of 71 Engineer Regiment, were sent a congratulatory video message from the Regiment’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Colin McLenaghan, who is currently on mobilisation in Cyprus.

‘It’s so brilliant to see the positive and real impact Reservists and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers are making across the world,’ said Lt Col McLenaghan, addressing the recipients from a rooftop in the United Nations’ Buffer Zone. 

‘Of course, we wouldn’t be able to achieve any of this without the support from our civil service colleagues, our friends and our families, so we owe you all a big thank you too.’

Captain Dave Hanley, one of the Reservists presented with a Certificate of Meritorious Service during the event, said of his achievement: ‘It feels amazing to receive this recognition, especially in what is now my thirtieth year of service; to even be nominated for a special award like this was a delight for me.’

Captain Dave Hanley standing with Colonel Peter McCarthy for an official photo after being presented with a framed Certificate of Meritorious Service

Awards were also given to two CFAVs from West Lowland Battalion Army Cadet Force and 49F (Greenock MacRoberts Reply) Squadron RAF Air Cadets, acknowledging their commitment to providing an unforgettable Cadet experience for young people within their units.

‘This is my second time being nominated for a Lord-Lieutenant’s Award, which was quite a surprise for me’ said Flight Lieutenant Vanda Nicholls, who has been an adult volunteer with the RAF Air Cadets for twenty-seven years. ‘I had always thought you could only be put forward once so it’s wonderful to have been nominated again. 

‘The biggest reward for me, however, is seeing all the kids that come through our Squadron grow into confident and skilled young adults.’

Flight Lieutenant Vanda Nicholls enjoys a moment of chat with Colonel McCarthy before receiving her Certificate of Meritorious Service.

As well as presenting certificates to Reservists and CFAVs, the Paisley ceremony also celebrated the appointment of two new Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets. 

Cadet Sergeant Major Howie from West Lowland Battalion Army Cadet Force and Cadet Warrant Officer Patterson from West Scotland Wing RAF Air Cadets, will assist the Lord-Lieutenant in his official engagements, serving as ambassadors for their respective units and as role models for Cadets throughout the Lowlands of Scotland.

‘This appointment means the world to me,’ said Cadet Sergeant Major Howie. ‘Getting to spend time in the public eye, attending different events and meeting different people in a role like this is just incredible.’

Cadet Sergeant Major Howie posing with her family in Paisley Abbey before the start of the award ceremony

Colonel Ted Shields, Chief Executive of Lowland RFCA, said of this years’ winners: ‘I congratulate and thank all our Reservists, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, Cadets and Civilians whose dedication and service have been officially recognised by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for the City of Edinburgh. 

‘It is often said that our Reservists and volunteers are “twice the citizen” – committed to serving our Nation and their communities on top of their everyday jobs and personal lives. It is a tall order, and those who have received Certificates of Meritorious Service have gone above and beyond in this respect. Their respective units and organisations have all benefited from their skills, determination and selflessness. They are a credit to the Defence community and the Nation. Thank you and well done.’

Group photo after the awards ceremony with the award recipients, Lord-Lieutenant Colonel Peter McCarthy, Colonel Brian Johnston and Lowland RFCA Chair Captain Andrew Cowan.

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