TWO Tidworth-based members of the armed forces were recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list for their work following the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

Colonel Andrew Dawes CBE, Commander South West, has been made a Commander of The Order of The British Empire (CBE) having “delivered exceptional leadership during an almost unimaginably demanding tenure in command”.

And Colonel Mike Duff OBE TD VR, Assistant Commander South West, has been made an Officer of the Order of The British Empire (OBE) for the “pivotal” role he played in supporting the civil authorities following the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

Colonel Dawes led the Military support during the Salisbury nerve agent attack, helping restore normality in the city.

He also oversaw support to the emergency services and NHS trusts during a period of heavy snowfall and led the Defence contribution in delivering this summer’s highly successful National Armed Forces Day National Event in Salisbury.

He said of the award: “I am enormously humbled to be recognised in this way. It has been a privilege to command the South West region for the Army and I’ve been brilliantly supported by my team.

“It has certainly had its challenges, not least in Salisbury, but I’ve enjoyed every minute, from leading the military response for a year in the city, to helping everyone move on and enjoy a spectacular Armed Forces Day this Summer. The South West region is now home to a third of the Army and we seem better connected to our seven counties than ever before. To have played a small part in this has been utterly fulfilling; to be recognised for it is a career highlight.”

Colonel Duff, meanwhile, received his OBE in recognition for his contribution to the decontamination of Salisbury and Amesbury having volunteered for immediate mobilisation when the scale and challenge of the task became fully understood.

He maintained a presence as Deputy Military Commander at the forward Headquarters and became a key point of contact between over 25 different organisations, including the Department of the Environment, involved in the complex recovery operation that lasted 12 months.

Colonel Duff added: “I am delighted to be recognised for my role in what was, undoubtedly, an absolute team effort.

“The decontamination of Salisbury and Amesbury was a complex and demanding task during which it was my pleasure to work with some outstanding military personnel and our multi-agency partners.

“The 12-month operation brought out the best in all those involved and it was truly fulfilling to play a part in returning Salisbury to normality after the unprecedented events of March 2018.

“As an Army Reservist who was mobilised to take part in this operation, being recognised for my contribution is both humbling and an absolute honour.”