Historian key in discovery of King Richard III’s body awarded an MBE

Dr John Ashdown-Hill

Dr John Ashdown-Hill - Credit: Archant

Dr John Ashdown-Hill, the historian who led the research which led to the discovery and identification of King Richard III’s body beneath a Leicester car park, has been awarded an MBE for his work.

A former Stowmarket, Ipswich and Colchester resident, Dr Ashdown-Hill worked as a languages teacher in Suffolk for many years teaching at both Farlingaye High School, Woodbridge, and the Westbourne High School, Ipswich, as well as working as a teaching adviser for Suffolk County Council.

Now living in Lawford Dr Ashdown-Hill, 66, said he was surprised when he heard the news as he had not been given much recognition for his work – especially in Leicester.

His citation states the honour is for services to historical research and the exhumation and identification of Richard III – a project which took nine years.

Dr Ashdown-Hill said: “The wording is very apt and it is official recognition.

“I also felt slight sadness as my mother had been very proud of what I had done, and sadly she died last September and is not around to celebrate this with me.”

The academic took up history full-time after his early retirement from teaching, and is an expert on medieval and late-medieval history.

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He added: “I am very much looking forward to my trip to the palace.

“It will be quite a unique experience, certainly for me.

“I am very grateful to whoever the people were who have done this and nominated me.”

Dr Ashdown-Hill was made an honorary graduate of the University of Essex last year for his key involvement on the Looking for Richard project.

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