Courageous Royal Marine honoured by his community
A History and Honour news article
2 Nov 10
Royal Marine Warrant Officer Class 1 Matt Tomlinson has been made freeman of his hometown, Street in Somerset - the first ever honorary freeman of the area.
Hundreds of Street residents turned out to cheer and wave flags as the parish council conferred the distinction to recognise WO1 Tomlinson's operational awards - the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) and Military Cross (MC) - and his achievements over the years within the Royal Marine Corps.
Before the formal presentation ceremony at which he received the scroll of the freedom of the village of Street from parish council leader Bryan Beha, there was a parade along the High Street in which WO1 Tomlinson and his family travelled in a 1916 La France open-topped car with well-wishers lining the streets and a marching band leading the way.
WO1 Tomlinson was joined for the day by his proud family: wife Sharon, daughter Ellis, aged 14, and sons Daniel Brian, aged five, and Harvey, aged seven.
WO1 Tomlinson, from 1 Assault Group Royal Marines, based at HM Naval Base Devonport, said:
"The day was fantastic, a real honour to be granted the status in a town where I grew up from the age of two until I joined the Corps.
"About 300 people lined the High Street to witness the event. And the same amount attended the ceremony at Elmhurst School in Street. At the school a presentation was delivered by the school's year-five children about my life in Street and my career in the Corps.
"The parish councillor read portions of my citations for the CGC and the MC.
"It really was a great day and an opportunity to thank the people of Street for their support to myself and the wider Armed Forces. A collection was also made for the RN/RM [Royal Navy/Royal Marines] charities which raised approximately £400."
In May this year WO1 Tomlinson was awarded the MC by Prince Charles in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace - one of the highest honours for bravery in the country.
The award was for a tour of duty in Helmand province in Afghanistan when, as a member of 3 Commando Brigade, WO1 Tomlinson braved grenades and gunfire to rescue an injured soldier and retrieve the body of another comrade killed in an explosion...
Oh, and there is much more about WO1 Matthew Tomlinson's amazing career here.
Thank you for your service, Sir!