Ilfracombe woman receives the MBE

Ilfracombe St John Ambulance stalward Phyllis Martyn had to wait a little longer than anticipated to receive her MBE yesterday (Sunday).

It was to have been presented to her during a service at Holy Trinity Church, Ilfracombe, by the Lord Lieutenant of Devon, Eric Dancer, on behalf of the Queen.

But he was held up by an accident on the A38 at Buckfastleigh and missed the service, attended by several hundred local people and dignitaries.

The church choir sang an anthem in the spot when the pressentation should have taken place.

But everyone stayed behind after the service and the Lord Lieutenant duly arrived to pin the medal on Mrs Martyn’s lapel.

Two other Ilfracombe MBEs, Bob Gilliatt and Mike Creek, were there to lend their support.

Mrs Martyn joined St John Ambulance in her native Ilfracombe and from 1951 to 1970 was one of only two nurses who were on call from 8 in the morning until 6 in the evening.

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Since her retirement from the uniformed ranks, she has raised thousands of pounds for the Order as president of the Ilfracombe Divisions of St John.

In addition, she has also raised funds for her local church and has been associated with the Warwick Medical Practice where she was one of the original members of the Warwick Link Group, set up to provide support services for less able patients.

It was Mrs Martyn’s wish that the investiture should take place in her home town instead of at Buckingham Palace, which is usual.

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