After completing 22 years in the Territorial Army, which took her as far afield as Kazakhstan, Denmark and Cyprus, a Devizes civil servant has been presented with the Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire’s Certificate of Meritorious Service.
Sandra Penfold, aged 56, who received the award during ceremonies at Devizes Town Hall, retired from the TA earlier this year when, as a Colour Serjeant she was Motor Transport Senior Non-Commissioned Officer with 7th Battalion, The Rifles.
It was a role that dovetailed neatly with her current Ministry of Defence job as transport manager at Army HQ, Andover.
Sandra enjoyed her first taste of Army life as a student with the Bristol University Officer Training Corps and joined the TA in 1991 with the former 1stBattalion, Wessex Regiment.
She admits that, after such a long period of service, retirement has been something of a wrench. “It’s the people I miss more than anything. There is camaraderie in the Army that is very special.”
Not that Sandra has let her feet touch the ground. Almost immediately, she joined Wiltshire Search & Rescue as a volunteer – “it was an opportunity to make use of some of skills I developed as a reservist,” she adds.
Sandra received her certificate from Wiltshire’s Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Sarah Troughton, at a special ceremony in Devizes. She was also awarded the Volunteer Reserve Forces Medal in 2001 and a 2nd Clasp in 2011.