Lancaster Navy officer earns MBE

Lt Cdr Graham Thorley.
Lt Cdr Graham Thorley.

A retired Royal Navy Officer from Lancaster has been awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours List.

Lieutenant Commander Graham Thorley has been recognised for this work on Royal Navy submarine operations in over 30 years of service.

Graham, 50, attended Ripley St Thomas Church of England School, joined the Royal Navy in 1980 and retired in August 2014.

Lt Cdr Thorley is described as having made “a critical contribution not only to the success of national and allied operations but also to the defence of the United Kingdom.”

Over the course of his career Graham also worked closely with the US Navy to strengthen bonds and partnership working between the two nations.

His citation says: “His accomplishments in maintaining the security and safety of the United Kingdom Submarine Flotilla, and acquiring a prodigious amount of invaluable acoustic data over prolonged period, were of the highest order.”

Graham said: “I’m very proud and absolutely honoured to be a recipient of this magnificent and prestigious award, capping a most wonderful and enjoyable career in the Royal Navy.”

His last role in the navy was as the Officer in Charge at the Naval Sea Trials Party 30 for three and a half years where he led a small team of underwater acoustic specialists.

He said: “The role was a most interesting and fulfilling experience giving me excellent job satisfaction during my 34 year caree

“During this appointment I passed through 5,000 sea days, currently the most days by an individual serving in the Royal Navy Submarine Service.”

Married to Angela, Graham has two children, Ross and Savannah.

A keen golfer and gardener, Graham will attend Buckingham Palace later in the year to receive his award.

Two people from our district have been awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List.

Valerie Gill will receive the medal for services to the community in Slyne and Hest Bank.

And Maurice Hodgson, watch manager at Bolton-le-Sands Fire Station, will be awarded the honour for services to fire safety.

Others to receive awards across Lancashire include:

Miss (Elizabeth) Lynne Duckworth, formerly director of advancement, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, for services to Higher Education, receives an MBE.

Ms Julie Morrow, Head, Appletree and Stoneygate Nursery Schools and Children’s Centres, for services to children and families, receives an OBE.

Mrs Laila Remtulla, Managing director, Laila’s Fine Foods Ltd, for services to the Food and Drink Business, Blackpool, eeceives an MBE.

Timothy John Henry Webber, Chairman and managing director, Barnfield Group, for services to business and the community in Lancashire, Colne, receives an MBE.

James Betmead, for services to sport and the community in Fleetwood through Fleetwood Town Football Club, receives an MBE. Ronald Barker, for services to the community in Rossendale, Lancashire, receives an MBE. Gordon Alan Lewis, for services to young people and to the community in Skelmersdale, receives an MBE. John Cowking, Clitheroe, for services to music in the Hodder Valley, receives a British Empire Medal. Mrs Margot Small, volunteer, Failsworth Children’s Centre, Burnley, for services to children and young people, receives British Empire Medal.