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Army reservist wins honour for service

Nick Parkyn has devoted his life to the army, first as a regular soldier and then as a reservist
Nick Parkyn has devoted his life to the army, first as a regular soldier and then as a reservist

Nick Parkyn’s Army career began as a young Royal Signals soldier serving in the Falklands campaign 35 years ago. His full-time Army career ended in 1991 but he was not out of uniform for very long. Just six months elapsed before he joined the Territorial Army (now Army Reserve) and began service in 81 Signal Squadron, which provides fixed telecom expertise to the Ministry of Defence at a variety of worldwide locations. Nick remained with 81 Squadron until two years ago, serving in Iraq. Then he transferred as a Sergeant to 254 (Specialist Group Information Services) Signal Squadron, which is based at Blandford and is part of 15th Signal Regiment.

As a BT telephone engineer – he’s now an assistant manager for BT Openreach – the new role suited him perfectly. There, once again, his technical expertise has been invaluable. But that’s not all. Over the past 12 years, Nick has been a key member of BT’s largely-volunteer Emergency Response Team, which is on permanent standby to respond to emergencies around the world. He was part of our UK-based ERT involved in gathering, recording, loading and shipping satellite equipment to the Philippines and Caribbean islands in the wake of the recent hurricanes Irma and Maria. Nick has also overseen the transfer of equipment to deal with the aftermath of floods in Pakistan. And he’s helped us deal with floods in Wales and Cumbria.

Now he’s been recognised for his dedication and outstanding contribution to the reserves, spanning more than 26 years, by the Queen’s representative of his home county of Devon. The Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon, presented him with a Certificate for Meritorious Service.

Nick says: “To be appreciated in this way and chosen for this Lord-Lieutenant’s award means a great deal. I’m shocked and delighted. As a reservist, I’ve met some remarkable people, travelled to many places around the world and made a lot of friendships that have brought wonderful memories."