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The Special Awards are to people who have made special contributions to the community.
Arthur Moreton became involved with North Weald Airfield as long ago as 1961 and it has been one of the consuming passions of his life ever since.
An historian of some note, Arthur has played a major part in protecting the cultural heritage of the Airfield. He is in large part responsible for the Airfield Museum. As a Trustee he was instrumental in setting up the North Weald Memorial. His latest achievement was the unveiling of the Gate Guardian, a life-size replica Hawker Hurricane, the Aeroplane that became synonymous with North Weald’s finest hour during World War Two.
The Hurricane was a talisman not just of the RAF. Pilots from many nations flew the planes during the Battle of Britain and Arthur has worked particularly hard to build relationships with the people of Norway and the Norwegian Royal Air Force. He has helped to foster long and enduring international bonds of friendship.
Arthur has taken the Airfield into St Andrew`s Primary School where he gives regular talks to the Children of North Weald about their history and heritage. For many years he also served the wider community as a Parish Councillor.
Arthur was anxious to say that he is part of a team with many other people who also care for the Airfield and the award is for them as much as for himself. In recognition of the outstanding work in the promotion and development of North Weald Airfield Museum and International Relations with the Royal Norwegian Air Force, Arthur Moreton received the special Certificate of Appreciation.
In an emergency, we all hope that we would do the right thing. But would we have the courage and the presence of mind? John Davis received a Certificate of Appreciation but he insisted he would only accept an award if it was in recognition not only of his own actions but also the bravery of fellow motorists who helped to save a family trapped in the wreckage of their car.
Cab Driver John Davis from Waltham Abbey was on his way to work one Friday evening in July last year. As he drove down the Epping New Road, he witnessed a major traffic accident. Cars collided and one was thrown into the air before crashing into the Forest.
John slammed on his brakes and ran to the scene. Inside the wreckage he found an unconscious woman and four young children. Helped by two ladies, he battled to free the children before turning to the second car, which was now in flames. Inside he found a man trapped who was also unconscious.
As flames spread, there was no time to wait for the emergency services. John and his fellow rescuers dragged the man from the wreckage and placed him in the recovery position. He then returned to comfort the first lady who had now regained consciousness. Fire crews took an hour and a half to cut her out.
The family are immensely grateful to John and the other people who rescued them. The Police have described his actions as incredibly brave.
Not every story has a happy ending. Georgie Sparks was a member of J Company, Four-Two Commando, The Royal Marines. He lost his life defending his friends and comrades in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan on Thursday 27 November 2008. Georgie was only 19 years of age.
Major Reggie Turner, Officer commanding J Company described Georgie. He was `personable, courteous and hard working`. His dedication and professionalism were obvious and these qualities helped him to qualify for the special role of sniper before deployment to Afghanistan.
Lance Corporal Lee Smith said: He was the Troops Baby but don`t believe for a second that counted against him. His life revolved around his two passions: his family and his shooting. He was the perfect soldier, the perfect friend.
Georgie was a local boy from Theydon Mount and clearly loved his life and lived it to the full. As a district, our community is incredibly proud of him and the sacrifice he made on our behalf. Georgie’s parents, Wayne and Toni and his sister Katie received a medal as a small token of the district`s gratitude.