MBE makes it a family tradition

HONOURED Royal Navy Warrant officer Annette Penfold who has been awarded the MBE. Her husband Bob who has one already. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (124144-5)
HONOURED Royal Navy Warrant officer Annette Penfold who has been awarded the MBE. Her husband Bob who has one already. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (124144-5)
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WITH strong ties to the military, it’s little wonder Annette Penfold has a history of outstanding naval service in her family.

Now Warrant Officer First Class Penfold, from Gosport, has kept up the tradition after being recognised by Her Majesty the Queen in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List.

The 52-year-old is the Command Warrant Officer for the Royal Naval Reserve and serves in the navy command headquarters at Whale Island in Portsmouth.

She has been appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of her outstanding performance through her service in both the Royal Navy and the Royal Navy Reserve.

Unusually, her husband Bob, 54, was also given the same honour in 1996 after 34 years of service in the navy.

WO Penfold, who is the first female Command Warrant Officer in the naval service, told The News: ‘I was absolutely amazed when I found out.

‘I feel very honoured and proud to be recognised in such a way.

‘The fact my husband was honoured in the same way makes it a bit unusual. We’re a Mr and Mrs MBE.’

WO1 Penfold comes from a family with strong ties to the military.

Her father, 73-year-old Neville Saunders, served for 22 years in the Royal Navy.

Her eldest son Michael, 22, is currently in recruit training in the Royal Marine Commando Training Centre at Lympstone, and youngest son Rory, 19, serves in the Royal Navy Reserve.

WO Penfold’s husband Bob added: ‘The whole family is proud. As a family we were really proud of Annette when she was appointed in the top job and now this honour is even better. It feels great because it’s an award in recognition of what you’ve done and it’s not something you can work towards, it’s something only other people can put you forward for.’

WO1 Penfold will receive her MBE at Buckingham Palace next year.