South West Royal Marine Warrant Officer Ceri Lewis has spoken of his pride at being awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Ceri, 54, the welfare officer for 42 Commando at Bickleigh Barracks, Plymouth, has been honoured for his role as a welfare officer over the past 13 years, supporting Royal Marines units and their families, including several recent tours of duty in Afghanistan.
He said: “I’m humbled and honoured. This is really recognition for the whole Royal Marines welfare team, who do so much to support the troops and their families, especially when units are deployed to places like Afghanistan.”
The citation for the award describes Ceri’s ‘zeal and steadfast devotion to duty’ in supporting Marines and their loved ones over many operational tours. His ‘dedication to the needs of others’ in working for St Dunstan’s charity for blind ex-service personnel is also recognised.
Joining the Royal Marines aged 17 in 1975, Ceri has seen service worldwide, including Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo. Highlights include a recent trip to America with the US Marines and a demanding tour of duty in Bosnia, where he helped provide humanitarian support to the people of the war-torn country. As the Marines are part of the Royal Navy, Ceri has also spent time on board ship, including duty in the Caribbean.
In his 37 years in the Marines Ceri’s most rewarding job was training recruits at the Commando Training Centre, Lympstone in Devon, where he enjoyed helping trainees succeed on one of the world’s toughest military courses, to win the famous Green Beret.
He was brought up in a coal mining family in Cefn Fforest, Rhymney Valley, South Wales, before settling in Exmouth in Devon in 1988. He has been married to Trish for 28 years and they have three daughters, Eve, Megan and Patsy.
His family is his pride and joy and he appreciates their support throughout his career. They are also regarded as part of the Royal Marine wider ‘family’. A keen rugby player and golfer, Ceri also enjoys touring Europe by motorbike with his wife Trish.
Ceri is now looking forward to a trip to London to receive his award.