A MELKSHAM man has been awarded a CBE for his outstanding service to UK defence, in this year’s New Year’s Honours List.
Major General Darren Crook received the honour, which is awarded by the King and recognises the achievements and services of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom. He has been appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).
A former student of George Ward School, he was a member of Melksham Scouts and the 2385 Melksham Squadron.
“I am deeply and truly humbled to be recognised by His Majesty with this award,” he said. “I have served with great pride, with great people and for a great purpose, inspired by those who went before us and for those who still serve selflessly to protect the nation.
“This award recognises the tremendous effort, perseverance and professionalism of all of my teams and the common values we share, stand by and work so hard to uphold.
“The last four years in particular have been typically challenging and demanded the very best of each of us as we deliver the edge that His Majesty’s Armed Forces deserve, as they protect the nation for all of our collective security and prosperity.”
In 2019, he took on a ‘run of remembrance’ running 30 kilometres of challenging terrain between local war memorials to raise money for good causes and awareness of the contribution made by Melksham during both World Wars.
He then embarked on the run again in 2021, increasing the distance to 70 kilometres (44 miles), to mark the World War II D-Day commemorations, D-Day 77, raising £8,200 for welfare support for Normandy veterans.