AN ARMY major from Thornbury has received his MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace, after being named on the New Year’s Honours list.

Former Castle School and Christ the King pupil Major Martin Morrissey, 33, was awarded for his work in optimising the procedures for deploying the country’s armed forces, receiving the news on Boxing Day from an out-of-the-blue call from his superior officer.

Currently based in Catterick with the Royal Lancers, 33-year-old Martin lives in Salisbury with his wife Amelia, a lawyer in the army, having left Thornbury to study at York University, and going on to graduate from Sandhurst College.

He was joined by Amelia and his parents for the “wonderful” ceremony in London on Tuesday, March 7, where around 30 people were being honoured for an array of achievements, including Olympic showjumper Charlotte Dujardin.

Speaking to the Gazette, Martin said: “There was a real range of people there. It was a humbling experience to be on the same platform among these great people who have done incredible things.

“It was a strange atmosphere as we were all kept in what was essentially an incredible art gallery while we waited to be called through, but it was very pleasant to meet all these new people.”

Martin said it was a pleasure to see the Queen again, having met her a number of times during visits to the Royal Lancers, for whom she is Colonel-in-Chief.

“Her Majesty is an incredibly impressive woman, a bright and considerate person,” he said.

“She is so switched on and well briefed, as she was there presenting the awards to everyone for over an hour. She knew who everyone was and was able to speak with everyone about their achievements and why they were there.”

Martin said how glad he was that his family could join him for the day, together having a “really good time.”

“It was a very new experience for them and clearly meant a lot, which was delightful. The day was very full and highly enjoyable.”