London: The British divers which helped rescue a young Thai soccer team from a flooded cave this year have been awarded medals by Queen Elizabeth II in her 2019 New Year’s honours list.
Richard Stanton and Johnathan Volanthen, the first divers to reach the 12 boys and their coach after they became trapped in June, were awarded the George Medal, the second highest civilian gallantry award.
Three divers were made MBEs or Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and two others receive the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.
Divers Joshua Bratchley, Lance Corporal Connor Roe and Vernon Unsworth, were appointed MBEs for their role in the dramatic rescue operation that gripped the world’s attention, while Christopher Jewell and Jason Mallinson were given the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for exemplary acts of bravery.
These divers were among 1,148 people who appeared on the honours list, released at the end of each December to recognize outstanding achievement and service. The honours lists are issued twice — at the new year and for the Queen’s birthday.
Authors Margaret Atwood and Philip Pullman, former England cricket captain Alistair Cook, 1960s model Twiggy, actress Thandie Newton and Hollywood director Christopher Nolan were among the hundreds to be recognized on the annual honours list.
Comedy group Monty Python member Michael Palin — who starred in such films as “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “The Life of Brian” — was awarded a knighthood for his services to travel, culture and geography because of his work as a travel writer and TV presenter.
Pullman, who wrote “His Dark Materials”, was awarded a knighthood for his services to literature.
A CBE or Commander of the Order of the British Empire was awarded to Lesley Lawson, more commonly known as the model Twiggy, who became famous for her short hair, mini skirts and wide-eyed look and will now have the title of dame.
Nolan, who directed “Dunkirk” and the “Dark Knight” trilogy, was also honoured with a CBE.
Newton, the Emmy-winning actress who starred in the HBO series “Westworld,” was named an OBE or Order of the British Empire, while “Handmaid’s Tale” author Atwood was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour.
Forty-three of this year’s awards recognized those involved in the response to terrorist incidents.
The recipients will receive their awards from the Queen in ceremonies scheduled throughout the coming year.