Leading Hand Simon Davies, of HMS Flying Fox, the Bristol-based Royal Naval Reserve Unit, has experienced plenty of variety in his Reservist career – anything from sailing in Gibraltar to anti-piracy patrols in Dubai.
His current role at Flying Fox is Recruiting Officer. And so successful has Simon been in the past three years – exceeding tough recruitment targets months ahead of deadline – that he has now been awarded the Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol’s Certificate for Meritorious Service.
Not only that, but his efforts have played a major part in HMS Flying Fox being awarded the Philip Dark Trophy for the Royal Naval Reserve unit that makes the most significant contribution to Royal Navy recruitment.
“It’s all about hard work by an excellent team,” says the 45-year-old. “We are fortunate perhaps that this is pretty much a full employment area with young people working for good employers and with strong prospects for the future.
“They have lots of options. And RNR service is just one more that will be a perfect choice for some. It’s been a matter of taking the initiative and engaging with potential recruits in schools, colleges and universities to explain what we can offer.”
Simon, who lives in Shepton Mallet, began his own RNR service in the 1990s. After a break, he returned in 2007.
He received his Certificate from Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, Peaches Golding, during a ceremony at Ashton Court Mansion in Bristol in which awards were made to Reservists, adult volunteers with uniformed cadet organisations and to Cadets themselves.
Mrs Golding also presented the Elizabeth Cross and General Service Medal to the families of two servicemen who gave their lives during the Cyprus insurgency in 1955-1959 – Flight Lieutenant Ronald Higgs (284 Squadron RAF) and Private Frederick Baylis (The Royal Berkshire Regiment).
Others who have been awarded Certificates for Meritorious Service are:
Flight Lieutenant Kevin Lawday, Bristol & Gloucestershire Wing HQ, Air Training Corps, for his efforts and leadership in resurrecting the fortunes of 37 (Frampton Cotterell) Squadron and his diligence and enthusiasm in promoting health and fitness among Cadets. Through his diligence and enthusiasm as Wing Sports Officer, Bristol & Gloucestershire now leads the ATC Region for inter-Wing sport.
Sergeant Major Instructor Bernie Townsend, Bristol Army Cadet Force, for her inspirational work with Cadets over 18 years and particularly as Drum Major of the county’s band, which takes part in an official Remembrance Parade held in Cambrai, Belgium each year during the Annual Battlefield Tour. She is also commander of the Whitefield detachment which has twice won the award for top unit.