A FORMER Duke’s School pupil who climbed up the ranks of the Royal Navy and saw action in Afghanistan has been awarded the OBE.
Alnwick-born Captain Paul Shawcross, who lives in Keinton Mandeville in Somerset, was presented with the accolade by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.
The award was recognition for his exceptional performance as the deputy commander of Commando Helicopter Force, which is based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton. During his tenure, the CHF squadrons were at the forefront of airborne operations in Afghanistan.
Capt Shawcross’s award was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last year, but owing to his deployment to Afghanistan as Commander of the United Kingdom’s Joint Aviation Group, responsible for all UK helicopter operations, he was unable to receive the award until now.
Capt Shawcross graduated at Leeds University and subsequently at the Defence Military Academy, Shrivenham, where he obtained a Masters in Defence Administration. He has served in Northern Ireland and across the Middle East.
He said: “It is a real honour to receive this award and, I believe, it also reflects the huge commitment and sacrifice made by the men and women of the CHF, and their families, as the CHF help to support the UK’s policy around the world.”