Published: 22:30, 30 December 2016
Canterbury MP Julian Brazier is one of three Kent notable people honoured with a knighthood this year.
Also ennobled was Kent-born actor Mark Rylance, who shares the glory of the nation's highest award with David Behan, who is chief executive of the Care Quality Commission.
Canterbury and Whitstable MP Julian Brazier said he was "honoured and humbled" to have been knighted in the New Year’s Honour list.
The long-serving member of the House, has served his constituency since 1987 and has been recognised for his contribution to politics and public service
He said: “I can think of many more people who deserve it but obviously I am very pleased and firstly want to thank my wife Kate who has had to put up with 30 years of politics.”
A former scholar of mathematics at Oxford, his career started in finance and research with a mining company and later as a management consultant.
He was also an officer in the Territorial Army for 13 years, including five in the SAS.
Elected to Parliament in 1987, he has long campaigned for family values and supported adventure training for youngsters, particularly the Canterbury Sea Cadets.
He said: “It really is a full on job but I have never regretted entering politics and I have been fortunate to have a very good team around me, especially my wife Kate and both the local Conservative Association and in Westminster.
“I’m honoured and humbled by the knighthood but there is still lots more challenges ahead, including fighting for services at Kent and Canterbury Hospital.”
He has held numerous government and shadow government posts including membership of the defence select committee.
In 1996, he won the Spectator Parliamentary Backbencher of the Year award for campaigns defending marriage and amending legislation to sell off MoD housing to protect service families.
In 2000, he was founding co-chairman of All Party Adoption Group, established to get children languishing in state care adopted by a loving family.
He was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defence, with responsibility for the Reserve Forces until July.
Actor Mark Rylance was awarded a knighthood.
It tops off a glittering year, after he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Bridge of Spies in February.
The Ashford-born star picked up the honour for his role as a Soviet agent in Steven Spielberg's Cold War thriller.
He had previously played Thomas Cromwell in the BBC drama Wolf Hall, which was filmed at Penshurst Place.
Table Tennis star Will Bayley has been given an MBE for services to table tennis.
The 28-year-old from Tunbridge Wells has enjoyed great success in recent years, most notably in September when he won his first paralympic gold medal in Rio, beating home favourite Israel Pereira Stroh.
He was so thrilled at winning that he climbed up on the table in celebration, which he promptly received a yellow card for doing.
Mr Bayley, who was born with arthrogryposis, a curving of the joints which affects all four of his limbs, had previously been a silver medallist in the sport at London 2012.
Speaking about his Rio win, he said: “This is the best feeling in the world. I never thought it was going to happen again when I lost in the final in London, as table tennis is such an unpredictable sport and to get to the final is an unbelievable achievement.”
The Tunbridge Wells star is now ranked as world number one in the sport.
Olympic Gold hockey champion Sam Quek has been honoured too.
She was one of four players from Holcombe Hockey Club in Rochester, who were part on the triumphant Team GB in Rio.
She released a statement about the honour on Facebook.
"This year I achieved my life's ambition of winning an Olympic Gold medal and that hasn't really sunk in and I don't think it ever will. However when you open a letter that's been sent to you on behalf of her Majesty the Queen inviting you to Buckingham Palace to receive an MBE then it really hits home just how massive an achievement that was."
The former I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here contestant is reported elsewhere in the Liverpool Echo as having been honoured with an OBE for services to entertainment and charity - not the MBE she mentioned in her post.
She added: "When I look at some of the names in years gone by who have been recognised in the New year's Honours list, people whom I now share something in common with; it makes this award completely overwhelming and very humbling. I even feel even more proud to be sharing this moment with my incredible team mates.
I feel so immensely proud at being awarded an MBE and it caps off an unbelievable 2016 for me personally."
She spent 22 days in the jungle in the latest series of I'm a Celebrity Get me Out of Here before being evicted the day before the final.
Her Rio team mate and fellow gold medalist Susannah Townsend has also been mentioned in the honours - see below.
Olympic Gold Rower Tom Ransley has been awarded an MBE for services to rowing.
From Ashford and educated at King's School, Canterbury, the Men's 6 champ at Rio said: "I'm really honoured, it's something I didn't think about or expect. It's a really nice surprise.
"I have a lot of pride to represent my country. I remember the first time I got the GB rowing kit I was super excited about that. To reach the Olympics and to win it was a huge achievement.
"To receive this honour is something I didn't think about - It wasn't something I strove towards. It's nice we can get this recognition for the sport and everyone that's behind the scenes which helps us to achieve these things
It's an incredibly nice way to end the year, especially being around friends and family over Christmas."
Two Gravesend men have been named in the New Year’s Honours list for ground-breaking community work.
Baljinder Singh Rana and Pirthipal Singh Kang are set to receive British Empire Medals for achievements made in entirely different fields - football and fire safety - but which both reflect Gravesend’s status as a heartland for cross-cultural progression.
Mr Rana, 52, has been a member of Guru Nanak Football Club since he was 15 years old, undertaking every role from player to manager, coach to chairman, in the Sikh faith club which is renowned for bringing together players from all backgrounds.
Fellow award winner and Gravesend man Pirthipal Singh Kang, 57, will receive the BEM for ‘services to fire and rescue awareness and community cohesion.’
Barbara Walsh, from Gravesend, has been made an MBE. Formerly a case officer with the Honours and Appointments Secretariat at the Cabinet Office, she has been recognised for services to Public Administration and to the community in Kent.
The newest Honorary Freeman of Hythe has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours.
John Schoner, a former town councillor of nearly 20 years, was recognised for his services to Hythe in east Kent.
Mr Schoner, 76, was chairman of Hythe Town Council’s finance and general purposes committee before he stood down from his duties in 2015 at the time of the general election.
The town council made him an Honorary Freeman in January 2015.
Mr Schoner is still the president of Folkestone and District Scouts, having been group Scout leader for Hythe for more than 30 years.
He has also been a Justice of the Peace since 1986 and served as a magistrate in East Kent for 22 years.
He is also chairman of the Hythe Venetian Fete, a popular event which runs every two years and brings crowds of people to the town.
Mr Schoner said it was very hard to keep his lips sealed after receiving the letter six weeks ago.
He said: “I feel absolutely delighted and I was very surprised when I received the letter.
“Keeping it quiet for the last six weeks has been difficult, but I am most delighted.”
Mr Schoner is a trustee of Tynwald Residential Home in Hillside Street, a position he has fullfilled for 25 years. He stepped down as chairman in October after 21 years.
“I find it most satisfying, finding people comfortable homes,” he added.
“It is worthwhile doing something for the community and for the elderly.
“It is a nice home and I love what I do up there.”
With decades of selfless work under his belt, Mr Schoner said it was being a part of the Scouts that had led his voluntary duties.
Mr Schoner said: “I do want to keep active for as long as possible.”
The chief executive of Kent’s fire service was honoured in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
Ann Millington has been the chief executive of Kent Fire and Rescue since 2011, having previously worked as the human resources director and the deputy chief executive.
She was the first woman to be appointed to the role in the service’s history, but her career was an interesting and varied one before that.
She studied for a degree in philosophy and psychology, and took a job at a psychiatric hospital in North Wales after graduating. A later temporary job in the HR department of the Home Office turned into a permanent position.
Speaking to Fire Magazine, Miss Millington said: “After completing my degree I always knew my natural orientation would be towards a people-based profession, but the experience at the Home Office really cemented my career path.”
Now, she is in charge of 2,000 staff, who deliver an emergency response and prevention work to more than 1.7 million people.
Among other achievements, Miss Millington worked in Oman as part of a British Embassy project to develop education frameworks for young people. She has also worked in Europe, New York and Hong Kong over the course of her varied career.
To add to those achievements, she was recognised for her work with Kent Fire and Rescue, being awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal.
“I am accepting the Queen’s Fire Service Medal on behalf of all of the firefighters and staff of Kent Fire and Rescue Service,” she explained.
“This is entirely about recognising a team who work selflessly to keep people in our country safe and well, not only in emergencies such as fire, road crashes and floods, but also in medical emergencies working alongside our colleagues in the ambulance service.”
The county’s firefighters deal with around 20,000 incidents a year, making it one of the busiest services in the country.
Former NSPCC Trustee Jonathan Bloomer, who lives in Sevenoaks, has been named an MBE in the New Year’s Honour list.
During his time at the NSPCC, Jonathan worked closely with the Director of Finance to ensure the organisation made savings that allowed it to spend more on services to help children and young people.
This efficiency drive also meant that every call to the charity’s adult helpline could be answered, ensuring more children than ever are being kept safe from abuse.
Even with his busy professional life, his personal commitments to his wife Judy and their children in Kent and his work with other charities, Jonathan regularly attended NSPCC Trustee and Committee meetings where he delivered shrewd advice and wise counsel.
He stepped down from the Trustee Board in October 2016 following eight years loyal service and is now in his twentieth year as an NSPCC supporter.
NSPCC Chairman Mark Wood said: "We are delighted that Jonathan's long service to the NSPCC has bene recognised in the New Year's Honours list. Jonathan brought expertise and diligence to the charity's financial governance as treasurer, setting exacting standards and ensuring at all times that the charity's endeavours are soundly financed.
The list in full
David Behan, CBE. Chief executive Care Quality Commission. For services to Health and Care. (Kent)
Julian William Hendy Brazier, TD, MP. Member of Parliament for Canterbury and Whitstable. For political and public service. (Canterbury, Kent)
David Mark Rylance Waters. Actor. For services to Theatre. (Ashford, Kent)
ORDER OF THE BATH
Peter James Reginald Fish. Director general. Government Legal Department Legal Adviser, Home Office. For Legal Services to Government. (Tunbridge Wells, Kent)
ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
Joe Baden. Founder. Open Book Project. For services to Higher Education. (Rochester, Kent)
Ms Susan Baker. Director. Time to Change. For services to Mental Health. (Whitstable, Kent)
Mrs Eleanor Deirdre Brazil. Children's Services commissioner, Slough. For services to Children's Social Care. (Wrotham, Kent)
Dr Jonathan Clark. Executive Headteacher. Beckmead Family of Schools Croydon. For services to Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. (Edenbridge, Kent)
Ms Carol Margaret McCall. Head of Civil Contingency Communications. Cabinet Office. For services to Government Civil Contingency Preparation and Ceremonial Planning. (Sevenoaks, Kent)
Jonathan Mark Paul Tibbs. Chairman. Jon Tibbs Associates Ltd. For services to International Trade and the Sports Sector. (Tunbridge Wells, Kent)
Mrs Caroline Wake. Head, UK Delegation, Channel Tunnel Safety Authority. For services to Transport Safety and the community in Kent. (Tonbridge, Kent)
William John Bayley. For services to Table Tennis. (Rotherham, South Yorkshire - Tunbridge Wells links)
Jonathan William Bloomer. Formerly Trustee and Honorary Treasurer. NSPCC. For voluntary services to Children and Young People. (Sevenoaks, Kent)
Capt Donald Patrick Cockrill. Secretary General. United Kingdom Maritime Pilots' Association. For voluntary services to Maritime Pilotage and the Port Industry. (Faversham, Kent)
Terry Peter Cole. Building Officer. House of Commons. For parliamentary service. (Sevenoaks, Kent)
Arjuna Gihan Fernando. Investor and Entrepreneur. For services to the Digital Economy. (Sevenoaks, Kent)
Mrs Sharon Marie Holness. For voluntary services through the National Police Memorial Day. (Folkestone, Kent)
Dr Howard James Leicester. For services to Improving Patient Services in the NHS. (Otford, Kent)
Dr Cheryl Dawn Mvula. For services to Responsible Tourism. Community Development and Conservation in Africa. (Whitstable, Kent)
Ms Susan Ann Polydorou. For services to the community in Bromley and Bexley. Kent. (London)
Thomas Matthew Ransley. For services to Rowing. (Ashford, Kent)
John Antony Schoner, JP. For services to the community in Hythe. Kent.
Robert Spencer Simpson. Founder. Electrosonic. For services to the UK's Audio-Visual Industry. (Kent)
Ms Susannah Townsend. For services to Hockey. (Canterbury, Kent)
Mrs Louise Irene Upton. Formerly Foster Carer, Kent County Council. For services to Children. (Canterbury, Kent)
Ronald Upton. Formerly Foster Carer. Kent County Council. For services to Children. (Canterbury, Kent)
Austin William Sidney Walker. County vice-president. Kent Royal British Legion. For voluntary service to Veterans and their Families. (Margate, Kent)
Mrs Barbara Anne Walsh. Formerly Case Officer, Honours and Appointments Secretariat, Cabinet Office. For services to Public Administration and to the community in Kent. (Gravesend, Kent)
Ronald Charles Woodward. For services to Age UK and the community in Herne Bay. Kent. (Herne Bay, Kent)
BRITISH EMPIRE MEDAL
Pirthipal Singh Kang. For services to Fire and Rescue Awareness and Community Cohesion in North Kent. (Gravesend, Kent)
Baljinder Singh Rana. Chairman. Guru Nanak Football Club. For services to Football and Inclusion in Kent.
William Donald Stupples. Armourer. Ministry of Defence. For services to Army Training and charitable service. (Tenterden, Kent)
QUEEN'S FIRE SERVICE MEDAL
Miss Ann Millington. Chief executive. Kent Fire and Rescue Service.