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Royal honour for St John Ambulance veteran Raymond Ashman of Smeeth

By Samantha Williams

A man from Smeeth has received an honour from the Queen in recognition of his long service to St John Ambulance.

Raymond Ashman, 71, was invested as Officer Brother by the order’s Prior, Rodney Green, at a ceremony held at St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell, last month.

He said: “It was a lovely day. I feel very privileged. The ceremony was held in the church and then after there was a gathering in the hall.”

Raymond Ashman, unit manager of Ashford St John Ambulance
Raymond Ashman, unit manager of Ashford St John Ambulance

Mr Ashman has been a member of St John Ambulance for 43 years.

He joined the Ashford division in the early 1970s after becoming interested in first aid following a course he took for work.

He was then upgraded to sergeant, before being made the unit manager, a role formally known as superintendent.

In 1989, he was made a Serving Brother, and then last month he was honoured as an Officer Brother.

He said: “I actually found out last year, but they only invest three times a year so it can be a long wait.”

All honours have to be sanctioned by the Queen as head of the Order of St John.

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