Tireless fundraiser’s joy at British Empire Medal from New Year’s Honours List

Margaret Jessop
Margaret Jessop

A tireless fundraiser who refused to let cancer or pneumonia stop her helping others has been awarded in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

For the last 27 years Boston’s Margaret Jessop has been behind countless local and national events to raise thousands of pounds for the Boston branch of the Dunkirk Veterans Fund.

Now her work has a royal recognition – with a British Empire Medal (BEM).

“I am really honoured,” she said. “I’ve loved doing the work, it’s been no problem at all.”

Margaret and husband Sam have travelled the county to give nostalgia talks to elderly groups and schools, using their own wartime memorabilia.

In 1998 Margaret underwent major cancer surgery, but still carried on fundraising from her hospital bed. And despite turning 82 this month, and suffering from health issues, she still continues her fundraising work.

The medal will sit proudly alongside her 2011 Boston Standard Pride Award in the senior achiever category – and a whole host of other accolades.

She said: “We’ve had a great life, we’ve visited Dunkirk with veterans, organised events, and made many friends.”

Also receiving a BEM in the honours list was Jean Lorna Curtis – for services to the community of Coningsby.

Mrs Curtis said she’s ‘so pleased’, but added she initially thought it was a ‘wind-up’.

The BEM was re-established last year to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.It may be several months before the women get their medals.