THE watch manager of Whitchurch Fire Station has been officially presented with a British Empire Medal (BEM) having been awarded it in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Simon Griffiths has served in the fire service in the town for 44 years and was officially presented his medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner.

Mrs Turner said it was an honour to present the award.

"These honours recognise people who have a made a difference in their communities and those who have devoted themselves over many years, often their whole professional life to making a difference in their field," she said.

"I would like to congratulate all those who have been personally recognised by Her Late Majesty The Queen and it is my honour to be able to present them with their awards."

Speaking in June, earlier this year, Simon said the award has come as a shock.


He added: "I had a letter though the post on April 22, the days after the Queen's birthday, and because it had a crown on it I just thought it was something to do with my tax code.

"It had Cabinet Office on it so I opened it and I started to read it, and I got a bit emotional.

"My wife asked me what's the matter and I told her that I was being honoured but I thought it might have been the Queen's Fire Service medal, if anything.

"But to get the BEM was quite a shock.

"I read it out and said I had been nominated and that it had been authorised, and then I've had a letter off the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire congratulating me."

Whitchurch Town Council congratulated Simon for his achievement.

The town clerk, Mike McDonald, said: "Whitchurch Mayor, Councillor Andy Hall, recently had the pleasure of attending the Shropshire British Empire Medal Presentation by our Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Anna Turner.

"One of the four recipients in Her Late Majesty's 2022 Birthday Honours round was Whitchurch Fire Station watch manager, Simon Griffiths who has served the town for 44 years.

"We are sure you would join us in saying what a thoroughly well-deserved award this is.

"Huge congratulations Simon."