Shotley: Royal Navy nurse, Petty Officer Emily McCullough, rewarded for her dedication with award

Petty Officer Emily McCullough who won the Military Award for Outstanding Sailor visits the children

Petty Officer Emily McCullough who won the Military Award for Outstanding Sailor visits the children of Shotley Primary who help her collect supplies. Pictured with husband Sean.

A Royal Navy nurse from Suffolk who was awarded a prestigious accolade for military personnel in recognition of her hard work and dedication has returned home to a hero’s welcome.

Youngsters at Shotley Community Primary School unveiled a banner at the site to congratulate Petty Officer Emily McCullough on winning the Most Outstanding Sailor or Marine accolade at The Sun Military Awards, nicknamed the Millies.

The former Holbrook High School student was joined at the school by her husband, Sean, a leading medical assistant, who was flown from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, where he is currently serving, to surprise her during the awards ceremony on Wednesday.

The pair had not seen each other since August.

PO McCullough, who has served two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, has received a great deal of support from the school, where her mum Gill Packard is a teacher, throughout her career.

She said: “When I was in Afghanistan they sent out toiletries to the patients which was a massive help and meant we could provide better support for Afghan patients.

“It was so nice (the banner) and they did a little assembly – it was really overwhelming.”

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At the awards ceremony in London, PO McCullough was presented with her award by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood and the surprise arrival of husband Sean brought some in the audience, including comedian Ricky Gervais, to tears.

PO McCullough, of the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service, is currently based at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in Birmingham.

It was for her actions overseas and at home that she was nominated for the award, as well as her dedication to the job despite only getting married 18 months ago.

She added: “It was just amazing, it has been a really overwhelming experience but it was quite surreal, especially being surrounded by celebrities.

“They made us feel really special, it was really good.

“It was just crazy and it was so nice to see him because we haven’t seen each other since the beginning of August.

“It was a wonderful evening.”

Suffolk was well represented at the sixth annual Millies evening with two service personnel from RAF Honington being shortlisted in the awards.

They were Corporal Stuart Robinson, in the Overcoming Adversity category and Lance Corporal Alexander Edwin William Price, in the Most Outstanding Airman category.

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