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Neville McFarlane receives British Empire Medal

15 January 2014 - 11:13am
| by Joss

Every year, the New Year’s Honours List has a mixture of the great and good who have made a contribution to British Society. One of this year’s recipients, Bandmaster of Sleaford Salvation Army, Neville McFarlane, has revealed his surprise at being awarded the British Empire Medal for services to The Salvation Army and the community in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.

“We moved to Sleaford in 1963,” recalls Neville. “I was a school headmaster and spent the vast majority of my adult life teaching in Staffordshire and Lincolnshire. It was a great privilege – I loved the time I spent serving the community both professionally and personally.”

“I’ve been a member of The Salvation Army all my life,” he confesses. “I was born into a Salvationist family, and have been a member since I was a young adult. After serving at several Corps, including Brighton Congress Hall, Oxford and Chesterton, eventually I would end up as the bandmaster of Sleaford Corps band and also spent ten years as the Divisional Bandmaster for Lincolnshire in The Salvation Army’s East Midlands Division.”

Neville will be having a typically modest celebration of his great achievement – his daughter, Jane, made him a cake and he’s currently enjoying time relaxing with family. “It seems to have brought other people some pleasure, so I suppose that is a good thing,” he acknowledges.

He continues, “But any true value in this I receive from my faith and The Salvation Army. It’s a form of worship which makes me more comfortable; it’s what makes sense to me and has informed my life working in and amongst people. I’m deeply grateful for this recognition and trust the work of The Salvation Armywill continue long into the future.”


Submitted by Major David Garrad on

A Christian gentleman deserving of the recognition he has been given him. May God bless his continuing ministry which is appreciated by so many who come under his influence and leadership.

Submitted by David Thornett on

I remember Neville from many years ago.
We met for the first time at one of the Army's music camps at Hadleigh and I remember being introduced to him by Bandmaster Greig of Coventry City Salvation Army band.
We were to sit next together in the cornet section of the "A" band.
I have not seen him since then and have often wondered what happened to him.
I found out by "googling" his name and was so pleased to read about him and his recent honour.
I send him my best regards and congratulations !

Submitted by George Brown on

I worked with Neville for several years as Head of Music at Kesteven and Sleaford High School and although I knew he was a highly respected musician I never once felt intimidated by this. Indeed he was very supportive and always positive and appreciative of my efforts. Well done Neville.

Submitted by Meryl Smith on

Neville is my mother's cousin. My mum, Mrs. Colonel Rita Baird is now in a care home. Neville recently sent mum some CD's he had recorded with the Bandmaster or Songster Leader (sorry I can't remember which) from Boston Spa corps Alan Ball (?). On the CD Neville plays the piano with exquisite talent and my mother, who has dementia, has relished every single note each time she listens to it (and sings along!) Thank you Neville. I am sure your award is richly deserved.

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