Brid lad’s honours pride

Former Bridlington School pupil David Neale was commended for his services to the armed forces and cadets
Former Bridlington School pupil David Neale was commended for his services to the armed forces and cadets

A former Bridlington pupil has received one of the country’s highest honours for his services to the armed forces and cadets.

RAF Chinook crewman David Neale was also commended for humanitarian work he carried out abroad, saying he was “completely surprised” upon finding out he had been awarded a MBE.

The 38-year-old, who now lives at Church Crookham in Hampshire, said: “I received a phone call from my station commander on Christmas Day.

“I thought we were going away somewhere, but I was completely surprised, my wife was in tears!”

David attended Bridlington School between 1990 and 1997, during which time he became involved with the 252 Squadron Air Training Corps and the Army Cadets.

He added: “I was a cadet for five years but have been a liaison officer for the best part of 12 years.

“I would help arrange visits for squadrons who want to come down and give them a brief of what we do and get them all flying.

“We also arranged summer camps throughout the school holidays to give them work experience.

“I wanted to give something back to the organisations that helped me. I got a lot out of being a cadet.

David’s MBE also takes into account the tours of duty he saw as a Chinook crewman in the RAF.

He added: “I was in the first push for the Iraq conflict in 2003 as we led aircraft in to the Al-Faw Peninsula.”

David would also see further tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and also provided humanitarian relief work during a humanitarian crisis.

“I provided earthquake relief in 2005 during the Pakistan earthquake,” he said.

“It was nice to use our aircraft for something good rather than for warfare.”

He and his comrades were responsible for providing essential supplies like food and tents to earthquake victims who had sought refuge in mountains in the north of the country.

Despite being thrilled by his award, David said his time in the armed forces has also been a humbling experience.

“He added: “I just got on with it. I didn’t really see any requirement for recognition - but someone did some-where!”