RAF Museum Volunteer awarded MBE for 50 years’ service to heritage

Published on: 12 October 2023

RAF Museum Midlands Volunteer Roy Martin has been honoured in HM The King’s Birthday Honours List 2023 and presented with his MBE by HRH The Prince of Wales in a ceremony held at Windsor Castle.

The long-serving volunteer was given the honour at a formal investiture ceremony on Tuesday 4 October, where he received his insignia, in the presence of his wife and two sons.

The King’s Birthday Honours mark the extraordinary contributions of people across the UK, for their outstanding achievement or service to the community which has had a long-term, significant impact. Colleagues at the RAF Museum are delighted to see Roy awarded an MBE for his services and commitment to the heritage sector, and this award is a celebration of his decades of volunteering.

Roy first volunteered at the Museum 50 years ago as Curator. After four years he returned to his engineering roots, overseeing the engineering volunteer team who support the Museum’s Technicians and Apprentices to maintain the aircraft and keep them looking their best. Prior to joining the Museum, Roy served in the RAF for 22 years as Chief Technician, including nine years at RAF Cosford.

On receiving his MBE, RAF Museum Volunteer, Roy Martin said:

‘I was over the moon when I received my letter from Buckingham Palace back in June, informing me I was on The King’s Birthday Honours List. It was a long but exciting wait until October when I was invited to Windsor Castle to receive my medal, accompanied by my wife and our two sons.

It wasn’t until we arrived at the Castle that we were told The Prince of Wales would be awarding my medal at the investiture ceremony. This seemed special, with me being Welsh, and his association with the RAF. He was dressed in his RAF uniform which I thought was very appropriate for the background to my award. He mentioned my 50 years work at the RAF Museum and that he had visited the Museum several times. It was a very sociable, relaxed and enjoyable few moments that I will never forget.

After the ceremony we strolled through the grounds and took lots of family photos. Bits of the day keep coming back in my thoughts – I will never forget what a wonderful experience we had.’

On his time volunteering at the RAF Museum, Roy added:

‘Being involved in the evolution of the RAF Museum over the past 50 years has been an amazing experience. I find it very rewarding when I see the public admiring the exhibit condition maintained by my group of volunteers.’

RAF Museum CEO, Maggie Appleton said:

‘The whole Museum team is absolutely thrilled for Roy. He is a brilliant engineer and problem-solver and, even more important, he supports all of us with his warmth and generosity of spirit. We are so fortunate at the Museum to be blessed with brilliant volunteers, and Roy’s award is a very fitting and much deserved tribute.’

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