Congratulations have been bestowed to Godfrey Harrison on being awarded a BEM in the New Year Honours List for services to the Bude-Stratton community.

Born on the first actual day of spring in 1938, Godfrey went on to have a distinguished military career. He joined HMS Ganges in 1953 and then to Seaman Branch and concluded on HMS Corunna as L/Sea QRI, Seaman Gunner.

He later completed two spells at both HMS Excellent and HMS Cambridge and finished a spell of sea time on board HMS Charity (R29), Concord (D03), Saintes and Tiger (C20) prior to Corunna (D97).

Returning to shore, Godfrey became a highly respected and long-serving member of the Bude branch of the Royal British Legion. He held the post of chairman for many years and has been a driving force behind the town’s Poppy Appeal in recent years.

He initiated the formation of the Bude Royal Naval Association in 1989 and, not being content with full activity within the branch, he was keen to see the ranks grow. 

With just 36 members in the beginning, he is delighted to have witnessed the branch grow to its current strength of one life, 64 full and 40 associate members.

During his time with the branch, he has also been responsible for the organisation of Bude-Stratton and neighbouring parishes’ Poppy Appeal, last year helping to raise £14,750.

A spokesperson from the Bude branch of the Royal Naval Association said: “Congratulations to s/m Godfrey Harrison upon his award of BEM  in the New Year Honours List for ‘services to Bude and Stratton’.    

“Very well deserved and a fitting tribute to a s/m who had put so much effort into both RNA and RBL over the years and to the local community.”

The award Godfrey has been given was first awarded to honour those who had contributed to the First World War effort, having been introduced by the then-King, King George V in 1917.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI Godfrey planned a field of crosses on the Bude-Stratton Town Council lawns — each one bearing a regimental badge to include every regiment that he could identify. 

Local school children and residents attended a Service of Remembrance where they planted each cross.

Paying tribute, Bob Willingham said: “Godfrey has always come under the heading of “a doer”, many instances, far too numerous to list — but he does make things happen!

“The receipt of his BEM is a very fitting testimony for a total gentleman.”