Selfless service leads to royal recognition for Borderers

Ron Wilson, seen here ringing the bell to kick off the Kelso Ram Sales last year, is awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List
Ron Wilson, seen here ringing the bell to kick off the Kelso Ram Sales last year, is awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List, published on Saturday, recognises theachievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the UK.

Many household names are rewarded for their work for charity or for the success they have achieved in their field.

Kim McCutcheon recently retired from the post  of commander of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry in London, is awarded the OBE.

Kim McCutcheon recently retired from the post of commander of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry in London, is awarded the OBE.

Among them, actress Emma Thompson becomes a dame, with broadcaster Simon Schama and former Scotland football legend Kenny Dalglish being knighted.

There are CBEs for actor Tom Hardy and former University Challenge host Bamber Gascoigne.

However, several Borderers have also been rewarded for their quiet work behind the scenes.

They include a woman heavily involved in emergency first aid help at many recent disasters, a man known as Mr Border Union Show and a woman with a long history of volunteering in Kelso charity shops.

Former secretary of the Border Union Agricultural Society, Ron Wilson, is given an MBE for his services to agriculture.

Former secretary of the Border Union Agricultural Society, Ron Wilson, is given an MBE for his services to agriculture.

Kim McCutcheon, OBE

Kim McCutcheon ran the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) in London – the world’s longest established uniformed military voluntary organisation for women – for six years.

During that time, the charity provided emergency response and support all over the country.

In the last few years, that included the London bridge attacks, the Manchester bombing and the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Eilean Hogarth receives the British Empire Medal for her work with charities in Kelso.

Eilean Hogarth receives the British Empire Medal for her work with charities in Kelso.

Of receiving an Order of the British Empire, she told us: “It is fantastic. You certainly don’t set off down that route, but it is a great honour and a wonderful acknowledgment of the work that FANY does.

“They are all volunteers and they really do a fantastic job.”

Originally from Coldstream – her parents Michael and Jessie Crozier still live there – Kim and her husband Peter moved back to the Borders last summer and now live in Gattonside.

She is also heavily involved in the Riding for the Disabled Asociation and is chairwoman of its Edinburgh and Borders regional branch.

Former fire chief and ex-Melrosian David Rout is rewarded for his service with the Queen's Fire Service Medal

Former fire chief and ex-Melrosian David Rout is rewarded for his service with the Queen's Fire Service Medal

Ron Wilson, MBE

Former Border Union Agricultural Society secretary Ron Wilson has been made a Member of the British Empire.

Ron, 70, retired from that position last year, but he and wife Joan recently organised their final countryside schools day at Springwood Park, Kelso – an initiative the pair brought in six years ago to introduce all the region’s 10-year-olds to all aspects of rural life.

Known as Mr Border Union Show, Ron has earned the respect of farmers far and wide for his organisation of the annual event.

He told us: “Genuinely, I feel quite humbled by it all. It’s a great honour.

“People have congratulated me for the award, but for me, all my life, I have only been doing my job.

“I just have had the belief that if I take anything on, I try to do it properly, but it is lovely to get recognition from the local community.”

Eilean Hogarth, BEM

At the age of 80, Eilean still works at the Charity for Care shop in Kelso she founded in 2015 after volunteering for 13 years at the Charity Begins at Home shop across the road.

In the three years of the shop’s existence, it has raised more than £200,000 for the Margaret Kerr Unit at the Borders General Hospital in Melrose.

The British Empire Medal recipient told the Southern: “I’m absolutely elated. It’s just come from nowhere. I didn’t expect anything like this at all, although I believe I was nominated by some of the people I work beside.

“I have always admired the work that the Margaret Kerr Unit does.

“The shop is doing very well, and we get a lot of donations from all over the Borders.”

The award is a poignant one for Eilean as her husband Jimmy, who died six years ago, was also awarded the BEM in 1990 for his work with the Royal Observatory and after the 1988Lockerbie tragedy.

David Rout, QFSM

Melrose butcher’s son David Rout spent his formative years nipping into the fire station in his home town for a cup of tea, so it was no surprise when that was the direction his career took.

After three years working part-time in Melrose – during which time he also helped out in the family butcher’s shop, played rugby at the Greenyards club and represented the town as Melrosian – he moved to Aberdeenshire, where rhe eached the rank of local senior officer with direct responsibility for 36 fire and rescue stations and 500 staff.

When he retired in February, he had given 33 years of service to the fire brigade, and now he has been awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal.

Speaking from his home in Ellon this week, where he lives with his wife Karlyne and 18-year-old son Cameron, he told us: “I’m just chuffed to bits to receive this medal. I was certainly not expecting it;

“I have really enjoyed my career in the service, but none of it would have happened without my early days as a part-timer in Melrose.

“It’s what got my foot on the ladder, so to speak.”

others

Two other BEM recipients are from Berwickshire.

Andrew Ainslie, pipe major of Duns Pipe Band, receives his for services to music and the community, while Doreen Calder, also of Duns, is on the list for services to equestrianism and the community.

Also in Berwickshire, Coldingham’s Sylvia Fleming, director of Extrordinair, is awarded the MBE for services to the freight-forwarding industry and to the welfare of animals in transit.