St Albans Neighbourhood Watch stalwart receives MBE

AFTER 60 years spent dedicating his life to charity work a 91-year-old war veteran has received his MBE.

Reginald Law, of Thirlmere Drive, St Albans, is best-known locally for volunteering with the district’s Neighbourhood Watch scheme for over a decade.

But despite giving up so much of his spare time to help other people, the great-grandfather still could not believe it when he found out he was going to receive the top accolade for his services to charity.

He was nominated by his niece Anne Brown, who joined her uncle at the ceremony on Tuesday, which was held at Hertfordshire County Council as Reginald was unable to travel to Buckingham Palace to collect his MBE because of ill health.

Explaining why she put him forward Anne said: “For the whole of my life I have watched him doing charity work and he has been doing all of it in his spare time. I feel personally that a lot of people get awards just for doing their job but giving your spare time is so much more precious.

“He hates boredom which is what drives him. He does these things because he wants to do them, he doesn’t see it is something charitable. He has been a big inspiration to me in my life just how he gets things done.”

Reginald joined the Territorial Army at 17 and served in World War Two as a medic until he was wounded. After this he helped set up the St Albans Royal British Legion to provide support to people who have served in the armed forces.

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He then ran a local army cadet unit between 1947 and 1960 and became involved in raising money for a Scout group.

In the 1960s he started volunteering for British Red Cross and was later appointed as a senior training officer until his retirement in 1986.

That was when Reginald joined Neighbourhood Watch and went on to become the chairman. While he spent 15 years volunteering with the scheme, his most notable achievement was raising its membership from 40 people to 600 in just one year by contacting people using the telephone directory.

Speaking after Tuesday’s special ceremony, he said: “It was a wonderful day, I was overwhelmed.

“The way they put it on was a showpiece.

“I cannot deny I feel proud because I didn’t do the charity work to get the MBE, but to get that at the end makes you feel you fulfilled something.”