Annual Military Awards

Awards Evening 2015 - Master Graeme Monteith


Chief Petty Officer Graham Mawdsley HMS LANCASTER PRIZE

An enthusiastic, highly motivated and consummate professional, Chief Petty Officer Mawdsley has delivered an exceptional performance through what has been a challenging year for HMS LANCASTER.  Following his selection for promotion last year, he stepped up to run the Communications Group in 2016.  He adopted this new role with a number of key engineers missing from his team; however, with seemingly endless capacity he managed to fulfill his new management role while still delivering as an engineer at the coalface to fill the gaps. Notwithstanding an exceptional performance in the technical sphere, it is the care and compassion for those around him where he has made an immeasurable difference.  His team is widely recognised as the most cohesive and successful team on board HMS LANCASTER;

The Shafting & Shoring Cup – Cpl Dwayne Paul

Corporal Paul is a Section Commander. Throughout 2015 he commanded the Engineering Support Team; in this role he was responsible for using engineering and construction skills to build structures designed to mitigate the impact of an explosion during the disposal of unexploded WW2 bombs. This work is vital to reduce the risk to civilian personnel and infrastructure and is commonly carried out on construction sites where bombs have been uncovered due to excavation. Corporal Paul is specifically nominated having commanded his team to ensure the safe disposal of several unexploded WW2 bombs in locations including Wembley, Bethnal Green and Coventry.  Corporal Paul’s ingenuity in the application of engineering techniques has been exemplary and, furthermore, he has been able to deliver this under the most demanding and stressful conditions.


1.         The Air Commodore Dow Trophy is awarded Acting Corporal(A/Cpl) Chris Shaw. He was a key figure in the dismantling of 2 sunshades at Mussanah Air Base, Oman, in June 2015; not only drawing praise for his physical stamina and hard working ethics, but also in the way he questioned established processes, resulting in a method to reduce damage to the sunshade skins during the removal process being implemented. During the high profile build of a combination of structures in support of the Operation SHADER Reaper detachment, Shaw again came to the fore. Revelling in the having command and control over his subordinates, ensuring that his team were well supervised and took adequate breaks in the harsh environment. His eye for detail on this, and other tasks have enabled rapid solutions to emergent problems to be put in to place. A/Cpl Shaw is highly recommended for the 2015 Air Commodore Dow Memorial Trophy.

Awards Dinner 2013 - Master Stephen Rigden

SHAFTING AND SHORING TROPHY 101 (City of London) Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) (V)


Corporal Scott Saward, a Royal Engineer Search Team Commander, was deployed to Helmand between August 2012 and February 2013.  Throughout this period he has conducted operations to clear IEDs within the insurgent stronghold of Yakchal and on the main supply route, Route 611.

As a Corporal of only 2 months’ in rank, and with no previous search experience, Scott has been exceptional.  With his positive approach and unswerving dedication to the development of others, he has been in a class apart.

Understanding the vital role of Counter IED training within Patrol Bases, Saward set about ensuring both his Counter-IED Team, and host units, were given the best facilities and training opportunities; he was at the epicentre of an activity whirlwind. The transformation of the facilities at Patrol Base Lashkar Gah Durai is solely down to Scott’s ability to create momentum where none existed before.

Although other Patrol Bases had well established training areas, Saward identified that the ones at Lashkar Gah Durai were inadequate for the highly specialised requirements of the Warrior armoured infantry Company. He immediately re-designed the layout and directed the construction work.   Ambitious in scope, with no additional resources, and to the tightest of timelines, he produced a superb facility that exceeded the requirements of every user, and immediately put it to good use. This life-saving facility, and the training he delivered, has undoubtedly played a major role in choking the steady trickle of Warrior IED casualties - there have been no IED strikes on Warrior vehicles since his arrival at Lashkar Gah Dur-eye.

In addition he has demonstrated superb command skills on a daily basis. With an intuitive understanding that a Counter IED Team is heavily reliant on vehicles and equipment, and recognising that he was by far the most competent of the Task Force Junior NCOs in the Patrol Base, he took decisive ownership and responsibility for the protected mobility fleet of not just his own call sign, but that of his partnered teams – trebling his workload.

Although not glamorous, his ruthless focus on equipment care ensured the permanent and unstinting readiness of the Counter IED capability in that area for the seven tasks to which they were deployed.  Not only that, his vehicle and equipment husbandry methods were adopted as best practice across the EOD and Search Task Force, and during his team’s ‘off’ rotation in Camp Bastion, he made himself an indispensable part of the Task Force, delivering training and mentoring to other teams.  These actions had an immeasurable impact on EOD and Search deployability across Central Helmand, made possible by Scott's sheer force of character, energy, devotion to duty and desire to achieve exceptional results.

Scott has proved to be exceptionally gifted as a leader, and with technical ability of the highest standard.  Zealously applying all his effort to further the provision of Counter IED training across Task Force Helmand, and at the same time remaining poised to deploy to demanding and dangerous IED incidents at a moment’s notice, he has been a shining example across the Task Force. He has steadfastly maintained the highest of standards and his efforts to improve a complex vehicle care programme have been outstanding.

Air Commodore Dow Trophy


Corporal Andrew ‘Bod’ Fleming joined 5001 Sqn in 2005.  Since then he has served in operational theatres from Iraq, the Balkans & Afghanistan as well as undertaking tours of duty in the South Atlantic and Cyprus.  No matter where he has served and whatever the task entails, success is always assured if Bod is involved. 

So impressive have been his endeavours that he was selected, ahead of many of his more experienced peers, to take on acting Sergeant rank in 2011 and lead a team of technicians in the construction of Technical Working Environments. 

Responsible for the organisation and leadership of deployed construction teams is a particularly demanding job both professionally and personally. Despite taking him away from his family for protracted periods, routinely at very short notice, Bod has consistently delivered exemplary results that would be the envy of many an experienced Sergeant. 

He has always put the needs of the RAF and 5001 Squadron before his own.  Indeed, Bod was recalled early from another task to take a lead role in the deployment and operation of equipment in support of the 2012 Olympics.

An extremely high-profile and time-sensitive operation, Bod was tasked as one of 3 Team Leaders, to install a Portable Aircraft Arrestor Gear system at RAF Northolt, which was an essential requirement for the operation of Typhoon aircraft providing Quick Response air cover to London. 

This is just one of a myriad of examples that could have been cited to describe the unparalleled level of commitment and professionalism that Bod Fleming consistently exhibits in all that he undertakes.  For his commitment to the Squadron since arrival, and performance undertaking duties of a higher rank, Corporal Fleming is awarded the Air Commodore Dow Trophy for 2012.

Awards Dinner 2012 - Master Doug Barrat

SHAFTING AND SHORING TROPHY 101 (City of London) Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) (V)

Lance Corporal Tony Field

LCpl Field is currently serving as part of the Recruit Reception team at 579 Field Squadron. In his 11 years with the TA he has deployed on operations to Afghanistan twice, most recently on Op HERRICK 13 where he was a Bomb Disposal Officer’s No2 and where he was part of a team that suffered a death by shooting. LCpl Field returned to the Squadron in March of this year and since his return he has contributed beyond his rank and years to the efficiency and development of its soldiers. He is a committed, highly energetic, and dedicated soldier who has proved himself a critical part of 579 Squadron’s delivery mechanism.

It is typical of him that when the Regiment’s Regimental Operations Support Officer was physically injured and could not drive, LCPl Field stepped in to act as his driver, meaning that the support work to families and soldiers impacted on by operations could continue unhindered.

Having now seen numerous reserve soldiers return from operations and often struggle to balance the readjustment to home and work life with continued involvement with the TA, LCpl Field’s performance this year has been exceptional. He has shown a dedication to both Squadron and Regiment that has made a material difference in the development of its recruits, fitness of its soldiers, the preparedness of those deploying and the support to the families of those already deployed.


Warrant Officer First Class Matthew Fisher.

See left with The Master and right with Past Master John Trussler

Warrant Officer First Class Fisher joined the Royal Navy at the age of 18 in 1985. He performed with distinction during MCM operations off Kuwait during the 1991 Gulf War and saw further front line service in the Adriatic on board the destroyer HMS LIVERPOOL in 1995. He served in the patrol vessel HMS PLOVER off Hong Kong during the hand over to China in 1997 and he was unwavering in HMS RICHMOND during the Second Gulf War in 2003. In the same ship, he was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery in post-hurricane Grenada the following year and showed extraordinary courage in the face of danger and natural catastrophe.

In a career spanning 27 years, of which 20 have been at sea, Mr Fisher has been exemplary in organising the men and woman who have worked for him during a rapidly changing Navy. He continues his outstanding career as the Executive Warrant Officer of HMS LANCASTER where his professionalism, integrity and devotion remain at the highest level and is justly deserving of this recognition.


Senior Aircraftsman Gary Armstrong

Senior Aircraftsman Gary Armstrong is an individual whose impressive capabilities and performance belie his actual rank. He is without doubt a most impressive technician and an equally talented supervisor and manager who has impressed all with his innate technical abilities and boundless enthusiasm.

Dedicated and always very willing, Armstrong has taken frequent, back-to-back Out of Area deployments in his stride. Having completed a lengthy and very successful tour in Afghanistan, Armstrong was called upon to re-deploy to Camp Bastion having only been back in the UK for one month. Having completed an additional month without hesitation, had only been back in the UK with his family for 2 months before again being asked to return to Afghanistan to complete a 3rd consecutive tour at Camp Bastion, this time for a period of 2 months. During these 3 periods alone, Armstrong broke the MoD’s ‘harmony’ guidelines, but did so without complaint, performing to the highest standards on each occasion and receiving exemplary reports from his management team in Theatre.

All of the above would be impressive credentials for a seasoned Senior Non-commissioned Officer and any self-respecting Junior Non-Commissioned Officer aspiring for promotion. All of these achievements are even more impressive when one realises that Gary is actually one of the Sqn’s junior airman, who has had little or no formal managerial or leadership training. He has demonstrated a real “can do” attitude and should be justifiably proud of the contribution he has made to defence over the last 12 months.


Sarah-Jayne Brewin: BSc (Hons) Construction Management

Sarah-Jayne graduated from London South Bank University in July 2011 with a First Class Honours Degree in Construction Management. Sarah-Jayne is a member of the staff at Guernsey College of Further Education. She took the opportunity to enroll on the degree course that is delivered in taught block weeks on the Island as an Outreach Franchise by the University academic staff.

Sarah-Jayne proved to be not only very hard working and enthusiastic, but also very self demanding in perfecting her work. Whilst her dissertation met the criteria for a first class award, it was in the taught modules assessed by the University staff that she received the most credit, obtaining the highest average mark in the final year student cohort, within the Department of the Built Environment’s main campus and its three franchised colleges.

We are sure she will continue to progress her education and continue to develop her teaching in Built Environment subjects at Guernsey College. It is a pleasure to have had Sarah-Jayne as a student and continues to be a pleasure to have her in our teaching profession. She is a worthy recipient of the E David Tong Cup.


Samantha Hallam: BSc (Hons) Building Control Surveying

Samantha graduated from the University of Westminster in June 2011 with a First Class Honours Degree in Building Control Surveying. Samantha undertook the degree course on a part time (day release) basis over five years whilst employed as a building control surveyor for Surrey Heath Borough Council. Throughout the duration of her course Samantha achieved consistently outstanding grades in all her modules, with an overall average mark of 73%. Such a level of performance is obviously exceptional, but to achieve it whilst having to balance her studies with the demands of full time employment is clear evidence of Samantha’s commitment.

Samantha was an enthusiastic student who got on very well both with academic staff and with her fellow students, and approached all her modules with a positive attitude. It has been a pleasure to have Samantha as a student at Westminster and she is a worthy recipient of the Constructor’s Prize.

Awards Evening 2011 - Master Patricia Newton

Shafting and Shoring Award 2010/11 - 101 Engineer Regiment (EOD)


Shafting and Shoring Award 2010/11 - 101 Engineer Regiment (EOD)

Sgt Nicholas Connell is a Territorial Army BDO in 221 Fd Sqn (EOD) (V). He deployed with the Counter-IED Task Force on Op HERRICK 12 for 6½ months and led a mixed regular and TA 4-man EOD team throughout a most testing and bloody tour.

Sgt Connell was based in the Upper Gereshk Valley, supporting a Gurkha Coy attached to 1 MERCIAN in the Danish Battle Group Area of Operations. This high IED threat area, is an isolated Company location and extremely difficult to re-enforce. Sgt Connell’s 4 man CMD team, unsupported by integral search and without additional in-theatre training, was committed to supporting this challenging AO.

As an EOD operator, Sgt Connell excelled. With the little support he was under considerable pressure to destroy the IEDs which daily afflicted the Company Sgt Connell seized every opportunity to push the boundaries, single handedly disposing of 7 separate, in-situ IEDs. notably with a mild and unassuming modesty throughout.

Sgt Connell’s performance as a Senior Non Commissioned Officer in an isolated and demanding Area of Operation was superlative and, this exceptional soldier has been a true ambassador for the TA and his life saving contribution to the Counter-IED fight in Afghanistan is well deserving of formal recognition.

No 5001 Sqn RAF - Award

Cpl Jay Corn’s performance throughout 2010 has been nothing short of exceptional. Whether deployed as a member of the Operations Flt construction team overseas or as a supervisor on UK based training exercises, he has consistently performed to the highest of standards. Only recently promoted, Cpl Corn’s performance belies his rank; he has shown diligence, loyalty to his team and commitment far beyond that of many of his contemporaries.

Having not had the benefit of the leadership and management training that would come with promotion, Cpl Corn’s outstanding natural leadership and managerial qualities shone through. Instantly likeable and evidently competent, his team followed him instinctively, ensuring complete success in what have proved to be extremely arduous working conditions in support of operations in Afghanistan.

Cpl Corn is an accomplished operator; he thrives in the RAF environment, accepting every task presented as challenge; he leads by example, and inspires those around him. He is most deserving of this award.

The David E Tong Cup: 

Laura Closs - “Laura received a first class honours in BSc (Hon) Architectural Technology from London South Bank University in 2010. She had previously studied at a Scottish University, & relocated to London as a result of her job with Capita Symonds. While practicing full-time as an architectural technician, Laura pursued her degree part-time and achieved some of the best results amongst her peers. Her dissertation on large scale modular buildings provides a comparison with traditional construction methods for commercial buildings. This was well received by her tutors and was awarded an excellent overall grade. As an Associate Member of CIAT, Laura is keen to improve herself constantly and partakes in design competitions. Her ambition is to become a Chartered Architectural Technologist as well as a Chartered Builder.”

The Constructors Prize

Luke Meyers.  - Luke is currently working for a private quantity surveying consultant company, Huntley Cartwright. With whom he has trained since June 2004. He recently completed his final year of the BSc (Hons) Surveying Degree at London South Bank University, where he obtained a first class honours degree. Over the past six years Luke has concentrated on developing his skills and experience whilst working on a wide variety of interesting projects. Luke’s next major goal is to complete his RICS APC and become a Chartered Quantity Surveyor.

Luke achieved his highest grades in Measurement where he learnt the core quantity surveying skills that will undoubtedly serve him well in his chosen career. The title for his dissertation was “Has partnering procurement really achieved what was expected?”

During the evening Sqd Ldr Mike Alden RAF spoke of the work of RAF Sqdn 5001 in the modern day. No 5001 Sqn provide a range of expeditionary airfiled facilities, including Portable Aircraft Arrestor Gear, Temporary Working Environments, liquid oxygen and nitrogen production and envionmental conditioning units. The Squadron routinely deploys around the world to provide or maintain these facilities to support deployed air operations. This was most interesting and consumated our new affliation with the presentation of a beautiful framed watercolour print of 5001 Regt at work.  The Master thanked Sq Ldr Alden and looked forward to a long and happy relationship.