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Our golden girl Kelly made a Dame

KELLY HOLMES: captured the hearts of the nation. Picture: GRANT FALVEY
KELLY HOLMES: captured the hearts of the nation. Picture: GRANT FALVEY
MICHAEL FOALE: the first Briton to walk in space
MICHAEL FOALE: the first Briton to walk in space
MBE: John Partridge
MBE: John Partridge
GRAHAM WEBB: rewarded for services to business and to charity
GRAHAM WEBB: rewarded for services to business and to charity

KENT'S double Olympic gold medallist Kelly Holmes can now add another title to her famous name.

The 34-year-old athlete, from Hildenborough, near Tonbridge, has been made a Dame in the New Year Honours.

The heroine of the Athens Olympics became only the second Briton in history to earn a middle-distance double by winning the 800m and 1500m titles.

She is one of many people in the county from all walks of life to be honoured.

Her success, which followed years of injury problems, captured the nation's imagination. Her return from Athens was marked by a parade through Hildenborough and Tonbridge, watched by an estimated 80,000 supporters.

Kelly, who already had an MBE for services to the Army, went on to be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

She is only the second athlete to ever be made a Dame. Mary Peters had to wait almost 30 years after winning Olympic gold before being honoured.

Among the people in Kent also honoured is the chief executive of the Maidstone-based Civil Service Insurance Society, Graham Hadfield, has been awarded an OBE for public service.

Mr Hadfield, 58, from Addington, has been chief executive of the not-for-profit insurance society in King Street, which donates its profits to public service charities, for nine years.

He also runs the associated charity Civil Service Widows and Orphans Fund, and is president of the Insurance Institute of Mid Kent, for insurance professionals in the area.

Mr Hadfield said: “I am very honoured and excited. Our organisation exists purely to look after our customers and people who fall by the wayside through insurance, or lack of it.”

Don Brand, of The Spires, Maidstone, has been awarded an MBE for his services to social care. From 1982 to 1989 he was one of six area directors for social care with KCC, responsible for the Maidstone and Malling districts.

He is the founder and president of the Maidstone Community Support Centre in Marsham Street, Maidstone, and as the chairman of the committee that founded Maidstone Community Care Housing, now known simply as MCCH since widening its remit across Kent, of which he is still a board member and president.

Mr Brand, 58, who has lived in Maidstone for 30 years, said: “Social care is an important job that has been often overlooked. I hope that this honour given to me may encourage others in the social care sector that their hard work is also appreciated.”

John Partridge, 71, from Sutton Valence, near Maidstone, has been awarded an MBE for his services to the Royal British Legion in Kent.

Mr Partridge, who writes a Legion column in the Kent Messenger, is the county life vice-president. He said: “I was overwhelmed and quite proud to have received it because I have worked with so many dedicated people, both past and present, since I joined in 1954.

“I feel as though I am receiving it on behalf of the people in my life who guided and helped me as part of a team that works so well together.”

Tricia Ashdown, 60, of Spot Lane, Bearsted, Maidstone, was awarded the MBE for services to the National Health Service.

She is the personal assistant to the chief executive and chairman of the Kent and Medway Strategic Health Authority, a role which involves keeping things running smoothly at the top level.

Mrs Ashdown said: “It feels extraordinary, really. You’re just doing your job. I’m very surprised, very pleased and proud.”

Rosemary Augar, of Priory Grove, Ditton, has been awarded an MBE for services to young people.

Mrs Augar, 67, spent 25 years in Guiding before starting work with the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme where she is now a field officer.

She said: “I was so surprised to be given the award, I still don’t really believe it. It is very humbling. It is a privilege to work with young people and watch them develop anyway so this is just a bonus.

“It has been awful trying to keep it a secret from my family.”

Former Canterbury schoolboy Michael Foale, who became the first Briton to walk in space, has been an awarded a CBE. Because British-born Dr Foale is now an American citizen, he is named in the Diplomatic List.

But he went to school at King's in Canterbury where he developed his interest in science and space, which led to his career as a Nasa astronaut.

He visited Canterbury for the first time since leaving school in 2000 to receive an honorary degree from the University of Kent.

In February, last year, Dr Foale spoke to pupils at his old school from the International Space Station via a special radio link organised by Nasa.

Dr Foal moved to America 20 years ago to purse his career as an astronaut but his parents live in Cambridge which he says he still considers his home town.

He is the US record holder for the most cumulative time in space having clocked up 374 days and 11 hours.

Full list of Kent people honoured:



Mark Gibson, director general, Business Group, Department of Trade and Industry. (Orpington).



Nicholas John Lucas Chance, JP. Private Secretary to Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.



Miss Kelly Holmes, MBE, for services to athletics (Tonbridge).


Professor Quentin Saxby Blake, OBE, illustrator, for services to children's literature (London, SW5, born Sidcup 1932, and attended Chislehurst and Sidcup grammar school).

Roger Creedon, chief executive, Electoral Commission, for services to elections (Orpington).

Peter Michael Roland Handcock, chief executive, Tribunals Service, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Faversham).


Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive, British Hospitality Association, for services to hospitality (Sevenoaks), Graham Richard Hadfield, chief executive, Civil Service Insurance Society, for public service (Addington), Mrs Sue Harrison. assistant director, European Markets, Department of Trade and Industry (Betsham), Peter Andrew Nicholson, head Newham Youth Offending Services, for services to Youth and Community Justice, London (Belvedere).


Mrs Patricia Ann Ashdown, personal assistant, Kent and Medway Strategic Health Authority, fFor services to the NHS (Maidstone), Mrs Rosemary Avis Augar, field officer, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, for services to Young People in Malling (Aylesford), Miss Andrea Lorraine Blower, Grade C1, Ministry of Defence (Bromley), Donald Charles Brand, consultant to the Social Care Institute for Excellence, for services to Social Care (Maidstone),

Richard Edward Finlinson, chair, Amphion Consortium, for services to Social Housing in London and the South East (Ashford), Timothy John Foxley, Grade C1, Ministry of Defence (Kent)

Christopher Galvin, committee secretary, UNISON, for services to the Environment Agency (Beckenham), Dr Pamela Fay Harrison, founder, Jeffery Harrison Memorial Trust, for services to Conservation in Kent (Sevenoaks), John Kirtley, principal doorkeeper, House of Lords (Dover), John Lewis Partridge, for services to the Royal British Legion in Kent (Maidstone), Mrs Jean Thompson, principal trainer, Lay Led Self Management Programmes, for services to Healthcare (Beckenham), Leslie William Charles Truman, for services to Homeless People through The Passage in Victoria, London and to the community in Bexley (Bexley).

Graham Norman Webb, for services to business and to charity in Kent (Sevenoaks), William Andrew Whannell, station manager, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (Herne Bay).

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