A FORMER Aldershot Garrison Sergeant Major has been awarded an MBE for his work in the town.

WO1 Joe Fairbairn, of the Royal Corps of Signals, has since moved on to sunnier climes as the GSM of Dhekelia Garrison in Cyprus.

A well-known local figure, he organised many charity events and concerts during his Aldershot years.

He is among a number of soldiers recognised in the New Year's Honours List.

Staff Sergeant Neil McCallum, of the Army Physical Training Corps, received the OBE for his work as coach of the Army boxing team.

He ran the Army Boxing Club at the Maida Gym in Queens Avenue for three years and has since moved on to coach the Combined Services boxing team.

Staff Sgt McCallum is based at the Army School of Physical Training in Aldershot, also home to WO1 Ian Jennings who received the MBE.

WO1 Jennings plays for Guildford Hockey Club and coaches the British women's and Army hockey teams.

Two soldiers from the Central Volunteer Head-quarters Royal Engineers at Minley Manor also received MBEs.

Major Philip Monk, a Territorial Army soldier with the Royal Anglians, received an award for his work with Haileybury Cadet Force.

Major Michael Levett-Shrivener, of the Royal Engineers, was honoured for his work with headquarters 101 Logistic Brigade in Aldershot.

An MBE was also awarded to WO1 Edmond Rees of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for his work as artificer for 145 (Home Counties) Brigade, based in Aldershot.

Away from the military, almost 30 years of public service earned a CB for Ash man Timothy Flesher.

The 52-year-old, who once served as private secretary to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, took up his current post as deputy chairman of HM Board of Inland Revenue four years ago — the latest role in a public service career spanning 27 years.

His responsibilities include overseeing the Inland Revenue's 70,000 staff and one of the largest IT systems in Europe.

Mr Flesher, a married father-of-two, was delighted with his award.

"I have had a very fortunate career in public service. I have had some very good jobs and to get this award is a great honour."