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Flintknapper, doctor and trust founder amongst those in Norfolk to be awarded British Empire Medals at ceremony in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 11:58 23 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:58 23 October 2017

British Empire Medal presentation: Adel MacNicol, Julie Alford, Lord-Lieutenant Richard Jewson and Richard Copas. Photo: Sharon Stone

British Empire Medal presentation: Adel MacNicol, Julie Alford, Lord-Lieutenant Richard Jewson and Richard Copas. Photo: Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone

Six community servants from Norfolk who were listed in the Queen’s Birthday Honours have been presented with their medals.

British Empire Medal presentation: John Lord and family with Chairman and LL. Photo: Sharon Stone British Empire Medal presentation: John Lord and family with Chairman and LL. Photo: Sharon Stone

Julie Alford and Richard Copas, both from Holt, Dr Melanie Bruce, from Fakenham, John Houlgate, from Southrepps and John Lord, from King’s Lynn were all presented with their British Empire Medals by the Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, Richard Jewson, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.

Benedict Buckland collected a medal on behalf of his late grandfather, Anthony Nelson, from Sheringham.

A ceremony was held at the Great Hospital in Bishopgate, Norwich,

Mr Houlgate , who was recognised for founding and developing Southrepps Commons Trust, said: “I feel extremely proud and flattered, but also I can’t ignore the role played by all sorts of other people in the community. I am accepting the award for everybody involved.”

British Empire Medal presentation: (L-R) Adel MacNicol, Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk, Cllr John Ward, Chairman of Norfolk County Council, John Lord, BEM, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk. Photo: Sharon Stone British Empire Medal presentation: (L-R) Adel MacNicol, Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk, Cllr John Ward, Chairman of Norfolk County Council, John Lord, BEM, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk. Photo: Sharon Stone

When the Birthday Honours list was announced earlier this year, Mr Lord couldn’t believe he was being honoured for his service to flintknapping.

He said: “I thought the award was a wind-up in the beginning. I don’t really feel I deserve it, I just do what I do.

“I’ve been involved in many scrapes along the way but I stuck at it with the help of my wife who supported me 100pc, though I’m afraid I lost her a couple of years ago.

“I will pin the medal to her photograph when I get home.”

Dr Melanie Bruce was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen's birthday honours.  Picture: Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust Dr Melanie Bruce was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen's birthday honours. Picture: Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust

The late Mr Nelson was honoured for his contributions to the Sheringham community.

Ms Alford and Mr Copas both received medals commending their services to young people in Holt.

Dr Bruce received her medal in recognition of her services to children and families across Norfolk.

The Medal of the Order of the British Empire was first established in 1917, before being split into two honours in 1922 - the Empire Gallantry Medal and the British Empire Medal (BEM).

The BEM was discontinued in 1993 after it was ruled the distinction between the honour and the MBE had become unworkably tenuous.

However, the medal was reinstated in 2012 to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

On this year’s list, 303 people were honoured with a BEM.

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