Carver Barracks captain from Thaxted receives MBE for community work

PUBLISHED: 10:02 01 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:02 01 March 2017

Anthony Dale with wife Sally and daughters Lauren and Bryony

Anthony Dale with wife Sally and daughters Lauren and Bryony

Archant

An Army captain key to the development of Rowney Community Park for local people to use at Carver Barracks received his MBE on Friday, for services to the military and the public.

Captain Anthony Dale, who lives in Thaxted, is a community champion at the barracks. He went to Buckingham Palace accompanied by his wife, Sally, a teaching assistant at Debden School, and daughters Lauren and Bryony.

It was a family celebration as Bryony had her 21st birthday last week and the couple reach their silver wedding anniversary this year.

Rowney Community Park was opened in August 2012 after £180,000 was raised to build a new children’s play area. Since then, a woodland walk has been created, a forest school in the park is used by primary school children from Debden and Wimbish.

Carver Barracks has open days and fun days for the public.

Capt Dale, who has been in the Army 32 years serving in Kuwait, Macedonia, Bosnia and two tours of Iraq, was recognised in the New Year’s Honours. He received his medal from Prince Charles.

Capt Dale, 49, said when he heard about the honour: “I was absolutely and massively surprised. I didn’t know I had been nominated. You don’t put this on any list, it doesn’t come into your mind but to have recognition like that – you can’t explain what it feels like.

“I was staggered. It’s just me doing a thing I enjoy doing.”

Asked about the ceremony, he said: “Prince Charles knew what I did (at the barracks). He asked about the vehicles we used and about safety concerns. Health and safety is my field.

“There were five Paralympic swimmers there. I spent my time chatting to them and it was very humbling but they seemed more interested in what I did. What was really nice is that the girls were sitting on the front row and some friends texted to say they had seen them on the news.

“I wanted it to be their day. My wife has been with me all the way, when I was away for six months on duty, she was left behind with the kids, it’s been a joint effort.”

As part of the celebrations, the family spent a few days in London staying in Knightsbridge, shopping in Harrods, having a gin and tonic tea at the Duke’s Hotel in St James’s, enjoying James Bond cocktails and going to the theatre.

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