Queen acknowledges “sombre national mood” in official birthday message

JUST a day after a visiting people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire disaster the Queen has issued her official birthday message and also referenced  a succession of terrible tragedies across the UK in recent months.

The full message  reads, “Today is traditionally a day of celebration. This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very’ sombre national mood. In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies.

“As a nation, we continue to reflect and pray for all those who have been directly affected by these events. During recent visits in Manchester and London, I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need.

“Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity. United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.

17th June, 2017

And in recognition of the work of the emergency services the Queen’s birthday honours recognises police officers, firefighters and health workers who are among 1,109 people to receive honours.


Seventeen police officers have been awarded the Queen’s police medal for distinguished service. They include Michelle Dunn, deputy chief constable of Hertfordshire; Alison Newcomb, deputy assistant commissioner of the Met; Jane Sawyers, chief constable of Staffordshire; Karen Manners, deputy chief constable of Warwickshire; Alun Thomas, superintendent of the British Transport Police; Sue Williams, a detective chief superintendent in the Met; and John O’Hare, chief superintendent in Greater Manchester.
Three constables are honoured: Paul Nicholls, of Essex; Roger Brown, of Derbyshire; and Debra Cooper of the Met. Also honoured are Karen Warner, a detective inspector in North Yorkshire; Amerjit Singh, a detective sergeant in Cambridgeshre; Ian Birkin, a temporary sergeant in Nottinghamshire; Kathryn Somerville, a temporary detective sergeant in Warwickshire; Tracy O’Hara, a detective constable in Merseyside; David Whalley, a neighbourhood sergeant in Merseyside; and Nigel Hatten, a detective sergeant in Gloucestershire.


Four firefighers have been awarded the Queen’s fire service medal for distinguished service. They are: Caroline Anderson, temporary watch manager, Devon & Somerset; David Curry, chief fire officer, Hampshire; Adam Eckley, acting chief fire officer, Essex; and Brian Hawes, watch commander, Suffolk.


Five officers in ambulance services are recognised in the honours list: Neil Le Chevalier, director of operations, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust; Paul Liversidge, chief operating officer, North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust; Robin Petterson, clinical support officer, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust; Tony Rossetti, first responder officer, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust; and George Stott, training officer, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service

Gallantry honours

The Queen’s civilian gallantry list, released alongside the birthday honours, includes a posthumous George Medal awarded to PC Keith Palmer, who was stabbed to death outside the Houses of Parliament on 22 March as he tried to prevent a terrorist attack.

There are also gallantry medals for West Yorkshire police officers Craig Nicholls and Jonathan Wright, who arrested Thomas Mair after he attacked MP Jo Cox one year ago, and to Bernard Kenny, who was stabbed as he tried to stop the attack. Cox’s senior caseworker, Sandra Major, who witnessed the murder, has been awarded an MBE.

Read a full listing of the 2017 Queen’s Birthday honours.

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