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Army Warrant Officer 'humbled' by MBE

A soldier who works at a North Yorkshire training facility has been awarded an MBE in HM The Queen’s most recent birthday honours list.

Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) Barry Appleton, known as Snowy, has been recognised for his decade-long efforts providing welfare support to the 1,600 personnel of Harrogate’s Army Foundation College (AFC).

The 57-year-old, who hails from Stockton-on-Tees, said: “I am humbled to even be considered, never mind awarded this. The Commanding Officer (CO) told me to ring my wife, and she and I just broke down in tears.”

Snowy runs the welfare services for around 1,300 Junior Soldiers (JS) undergoing Initial Training and 300 members of permanent staff at the AFC, including the young Section Commanders who are responsible for day-to-day training of the JS.

Reluctant to take full credit for the award, the Iraq and Northern Ireland veteran said: “I want to thank the team of people in the Welfare Office, my wife Catherine, my children, and my granddaughter. I am a council house lad; it was a total surprise and I am so lucky to get this.”

Part of Snowy’s job has been to set up the AFC’s celebration of the Jubilee, which will see around 100 people attend a street party.

The former Blakeston Comprehensive School pupil said: “I remember back to 1977, for the Silver Jubilee, when we had a party. Now I’m organising it! We are going to have a sack race, egg and spoon race, and food.”

The welfare support offered by Snowy’s team to the AFC includes help with matters such as child & adult safeguarding, bereavement, relationship difficulties, and stress management.

They also provide learning and personal development opportunities for military personnel and their families, and organise exciting activities for children during school holidays.