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Outstanding Liverpool Naval Senior Ratings receive awards

17 October 2016
Two Naval Senior Ratings from Liverpool have received awards marking their outstanding contributions to the service.

Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside Dame Lorna Muirhead made the presentations at the Naval Regional Headquarters in Liverpool.

William ‘Billy’ Shepherd, from Anfield, has been promoted to Warrant Officer (First Class) (Catering Services) and received an Official Warrant from the Secretary of State for Defence, by virtue of Her Majesty’s authority.

As a result of the promotion, Billy, who was due to leave the Royal Navy in 18 months will now serve until 2022.

It’s a great honour to take up that post on the flagship aircraft carrier and a challenge I am really relishig

Warrant Officer (First Class) William Shepherd

He said: “I wasn’t expecting it and was studying for a master’s degree in catering in preparation for leaving but the promotion means I will remain in the Navy for an extra four years so I have put the degree on hold.

“It’s the pinnacle of my career and I’m delighted to be extending my service.”

Billy joined the Navy in February 1990 as a young chef and has since served on a wide variety of ships from minesweepers to aircraft carriers, as well as in numerous shore establishments all over the UK throughout his long career.

He has also seen operational service in the Gulf and the former Yugoslavia. 

He has recently served as the Specialist Logistics Recruiter for Captain Naval Recruiting’s organisation and has been instrumental in setting up a number of worthwhile initiatives designed to increase the number of recruits into the Logistic branch, which has been at critical manning level for some now.

He is shortly due to join the Navy’s latest and largest ship, the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth as the Warrant Officer Caterer where he will help guide her through a demanding set of sea trials and her subsequent operational deployments.

He said: “It’s a great honour to take up that post on the flagship aircraft carrier and a challenge I am really relishing.”

Sergeant Mark ‘Dutchy’ Holland, from Liverpool, has given more than three decades of unblemished service since joining the Royal Marines in September 1985 which entitles him to wear a bar on his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

He passed out of Commando Training Centre Lympstone 1986 having earned the coveted Green Beret. During his 31 years in the Royal Marines, Dutchy has fulfilled a variety of roles which have seen him deploy on various operations and numerous major exercises around the globe.

Throughout the course of a long and illustrious career, he has received the Commandant General Royal Marines Commendation for his actions in saving the life of one of his fellow Marines.

He has also completed the prestigious snipers course and worked with the Commando Helicopter Force as a helicopter door gunner in various theatres of operations.

He also did sterling work as a recruit instructor at Lympstone and has undertaken various instructional posts.  Having come to the end of his regular Service, he has now embarked on Full Time Reserve Service and commenced a second career as a Careers Advisor in Liverpool Armed Forces Careers Office, helping interested recruits join the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

He said: “I have enjoyed a diverse career with the Royal Marines and am now looking forward to passing on my experience to up and coming new recruits.”

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