TWO people from Farnborough travelled to Buckingham Palace last week to be made MBEs by the Queen.

Former Rushmoor councillor and honorary Alderman, John Debenham, who was recognised for 41 years of service to the borough, said it was one of the proudest moment of his life.

“It was a wonderful day for me and for the whole of my family. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and really made a day of it,” said Mr Debenham, who was mayor of the borough from 1974 to 1976, and represented the Knellwood ward from 1973 until he stepped down last year.

“My daughter and son had not been to Buckingham Palace before, so they found it particularly interesting.

“I last met the Queen in 1974 when she came to Aldershot, and she was charming then, as she is now. She asked me what I had done to receive the honour.”

CPO Philip Thompson, an aircrewman with the Royal Navy, was made an MBE in recognition for his work on the navy’s new anti-submarine helicopter — the Merlin.

Mr Thompson travels from his Fernhill Road home to Boscombe Down, Salisbury, to conduct test flights and evaluation.

Describing his first visit to the palace, he said: “It was an absolutely unbelievable day.”