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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 December 2005, 00:21 GMT
Britons honoured for tsunami work
Phuket after tsunami
Phuket was left devastated by the tsunami
Four Britons who have spent the last year in Thailand helping victims of the tsunami are among those recognised with MBEs in the New Year Honours List.

Cynthia Ratcliffe, 60, helped locals piece their lives back together after the disaster on 26 December 2004.

The grandmother also used her knowledge of Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish and French to assist tourists.

The other MBEs went to Martin Carpenter and Lucy Norton, and to Alan Cooke, UK Honorary Consul in Phuket.

Mr Cooke attended many of the commemorative events in the resort over the past week.

"He has worked continuously since the tsunami happened - he definitely deserved it," a Foreign Office spokesman said.

Frantic year

Mrs Ratcliffe said she was surprised to hear of her honour.

"I was really quite stunned when they told me and asked me whether I would accept the award," she said.

We have been helping those still suffering from hardship, those who have lost somebody and those who lost their livelihoods
Cynthia Ratcliffe

"This year has been really quite hard, especially with all the people who have needed extra help.

"It has been a frantic year."

Mrs Ratcliffe, who left the UK in 1969 after growing up in Bristol, has been based in Phuket for the past 13 years.

She is the president of the Phuket International Women's Club which raises money to help local children with their education.

Mrs Ratcliffe was on the beach when the tsunami struck but managed to escape.

After spending the day itself tending injured people, she volunteered to help clear up the debris.

"We have been helping those still suffering from hardship, those who have lost somebody and those who lost their livelihoods," she added.

  • Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who led the police response to identify British tsunami victims, has been recognised in the Honours List with the Queen's Police Medal.


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