A SENIOR army officer who was once a pupil at Oswestry School said he feels extremely humbled after being made a Commander of The Order of The British Empire (CBE).

Colonel Andrew Dawes CBE is Commander South West for The British Army, and has been recognised for his exceptional leadership as Military Commander during a period of high tempo in the region.

His leadership was most significant during his command was the Salisbury nerve agent attack, during which he led the military support, in the glare of an international spotlight, which played a vital role in restoring the city back to normality.

Alongside this, he has twice delivered the army’s biggest youth engagement event, hosted the Armed Forces Day National Event in Salisbury, supported the high-profile commemoration of Armistice 100 in Salisbury Cathedral, and delivered a parade for the granting of new Cadet Force Commissions at Longleat House.

He attended Oswestry School between the years of 1983 and 1986 before he left to attend the University of Lancaster.

Colonel Dawes, who has served all over the world including in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Australia and Egypt, said working in his role has been a privilege.

“I am enormously humbled to be recognised in this way,” he said.

“It has been a privilege to command the South West region for the army and I’ve been brilliantly supported by my team.

“It has certainly had its challenges, not least in Salisbury, but I’ve enjoyed every minute, from leading the military response for a year in the city, to helping everyone move on and enjoy a spectacular Armed Forces Day this summer.

“The South West region is now home to a third of the army and we seem better connected to our seven counties than ever before.

“To have played a small part in this has been utterly fulfilling; to be recognised for it is a career highlight.”

Colonel Dawes is not the first member of his family to be recognised with an honour, after his brother, Brigadier Edward Dawes, was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal for his work on a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan where he was abducted and beaten.

A spokesman for Oswestry School said: “We are delighted that not one, but two of our old boys have achieved so much and been recognised with honours.

“Congratulations to them both.”