British Empire Medal revived to reward community and voluntary work

Two hundred and ninety-three people receive award in Queen's birthday honours

British Empire Medal
British Empire Medal

This year’s Queen’s birthday honours list includes for the first time in nearly 20 years the previously defunct British Empire Medal commendation.

The honour, done away with in 1993 by the Prime Minister of the time, John Major, on the grounds that it perpetuated class divisions, has been awarded to 293 people in the first year of its revival.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, last year decided to revive the award, which was created in 1917 and became known as the "working class gong".

People receiving the honour, which is conferred by the lord lieutenant of a recipient’s home county, rather than by the Queen or the Prince of Wales, include Myra Clare, chair of Parkinson's UK, Winchester, Eric Dockerill, for voluntary service to St John Ambulance in Suffolk, and Audrey Lloyd, for work in Whale Hill, a small community of 1,500 residents in a deprived ward of the borough of Redcar and Cleveland.

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