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Ashbourne's Tony Millward awarded a BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: June 13, 2014

Ashbourne's Tony Millward awarded a BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours

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HE’S the chairman of five organisations in his local community, a former mayor and district chairman and an official representative of the 2nd Battalion Mercian Regiment.

His dedication to the community and 48 years of fund-raising once prompted the late Lady Hilton to refer to him with the title of “Mr Ashbourne.”

Tony Millward, 69, has received plenty of praise for his years of selfless hard work but his latest award, a British Empire Medal tops them all.

The retired civil engineering worker, from Northcliffe, has been a chairman or member of a string of committees, groups and clubs and has even been assigned the role of official fund-raiser for the 2nd Battalion Mercian Regiment.

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Among the charity work Mr Millward has undertaken, his last two years have been spent raising funds for the Mercian Regiment’s Benevolent Fund and his total so far stands at £11,000.

Although he never served in the armed forces, he is passionate about helping those that have served the country and

In 2010 his close connections to the regiment meant he could be instrumental in arranging a freedom march through the town of Ashbourne, which was watched by thousands. He secured a second march in April this year.

His award, a BEM, was announced today in the Queen’s Birthday Honours and Mr Millward said when the letter arrived it was a complete shock.

He said: “I received the letter telling me about my award of the BEM on my birthday and it was among some birthday cards, but I could not understand why someone from the Cabinet Office was writing to me and thought someone had sent me a joke card and envelope.

“What a surprise, none of my community work was done to receive awards but it is nice to be recognised and is a great honour not only for me but for Ashbourne.”

“It’s also an honour for my wife who has been a huge help and I could not have done it without her. She has had to put up with so much over the years.

“I think the main thing that spurs me on is my love of Ashbourne, there’s no two ways about it. That’s part and parcel of what drives me.

“I’d like to thank everyone who in any way has made this award possible for me.”

Derbyshire Dales District Council leader Lewis Rose, a fellow member of the Southern Area Planning Committee said he was pleased Mr Millward had been given recognition.

He said: “I think the award is justly deserved, for the community work he does. Not just for the council but with Ashbourne Town Band, the British Legion, everything he does for the town of Ashbourne – the list goes on and on.

“I regard this award for him as a community award rather than a political one.

“He is an amazing man.”

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