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Former doctor receives honour from the Queen

Dr. Mary Lynch-Staunton.

Dr. Mary Lynch-Staunton.

A WOMAN from Nunney has said she is “very humbled” after being awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to the community by the Queen in her recent birthday honours list. 

Dr. Mary Lynch-Staunton who worked as a doctor at Frome Medical Practice for over 20 years before retiring in 1996 says she was shocked to  receive a letter informing her of the award.

Her award for services to the community comes as a result of the many hours she has volunteered to a variety of groups and organisations.  She has given 36 years’ service to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, helping to organise the annual appeal as well as six years spent as chairwoman of the fundraising committee. She has also served as a church warden – a position she only stepped down from in April.

She has also been a Nunney parish councillor, raised thousands for various charities, been a trustee of the Fire and Relief Sickness charity and been a governor at Critchill School for 12 years.

The British Empire Medal Award means that Mary has been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace later this year.

Mary  said, “It was a terrible shock when I saw the letter from the cabinet office come through my door and I thought what have I done now! But, it was to inform me of my British Empire Medal which left me feeling shocked and very humble.

“Initially I thought I might decline the award as I feel many more people are more deserving than me and that others haven’t been as fortunate as me to have someone sing their praises. But, after much thought I decided I should accept the award as it is testament to the good work of the groups I have been lucky to be involved with, so I accept it on behalf of all the groups.

“The award itself will be awarded by The Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, Lady Gass, and I thought I wouldn’t be going to Buckingham Palace as it’s not as high an award as an OBE or an MBE. But, the letter I received says I am invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace later this year as a result of my award, so that will be a great occasion. I have actually been before having attended a garden party there with my father who was the Dean of Bristol and was invited because of his role and he took me along.

“I now keep busy by working as a room guide at Stourhead which I really enjoy and is extremely interesting.”