TWO senior Royal Navy sailors from Worcester have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the service.
Chief Petty Officer Tony Scripps, a Royal Navy medic who has served for more than 25 years, has been awarded the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal.
The 47-year-old, who is now also a Reservist, was praised for going above and beyond the call of duty during his career and was awarded the medal by the Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral David Steel on board his flagship HMS Victory in Portsmouth.
CPO Scripps now works as a Naval Service careers advisor at the Gloucester Armed Forces Careers Office where he is responsible for the recruitment of all elements of Naval service across Worcestershire Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.
“I am extremely proud to receive the MSM," said the father-of-two, who lives in St Peter's, Worcester. "I really enjoyed my career with the Royal Navy and all the opportunities it presented me with.”
CPO Scripps was deployed twice as a medic to Afghanistan and across the world on various submarines and surface ships.
Warrant Officer Stephen Haidon, 49, who was brought up in St John's,Worcester and whose parents still live there, was also presented the Meritorious Service Medal for serving for more than 33 years.
The father-of-two works as the Weapon Engineering Officer at the Commodore Portsmouth Flotilla Fishery Protection Squadron based at Portsmouth Naval Base.
Part of his job is to provide assurance that the three fishery protection platforms in the UK, and HMS Clyde in the Falkland Islands, are ready to undertake tasking as required by the Commodore.
“This award was totally unexpected and a very pleasant surprise as I enter the twilight years of my Royal Navy career,” he said. “Amongst the numerous messages I received was one from the original RN rating who signed me up in the Worcester career office as an artificer apprentice in September 1980.”
WO Haidon has numerous decorations including Air Operations in Iraq and clasp (1999), NATO medal with clasp for Kosovo (1999) and the Iraq medal with clasp (2003).
“I am exceptionally honoured to present these Meritorious Service Medals to an outstanding group of personnel,” said Admiral Steel. “These awards are given to those who, in 20 years or more of service to the Royal Navy, have maintained the highest, unbroken standard of conduct and proved themselves to be truly remarkable individuals in their line of work.
“They set an incredible example for others to follow and should be extremely proud of all they have achieved.”
Following the presentation to 23 personnel on board HMS Victory on Wednesday, the recipients and their families were offered a tour of Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard before an invite to lunch in Admiralty House, the Second Sea Lord’s official residence.
Just 52 Meritorious Service Medals are presented each year and only Royal Navy personnel who have completed 20 year's of service.
The medal dates back to January 14, 1919, just two months after the end of the First World War, and was originally intended to reward either specific acts of gallantry not in the presence of the enemy, or for meritorious service performed by petty officers and ratings.