A FORMER SAS soldier from Hereford has received the Kings Award for Voluntary Services.

Along with Scarf Jones, from Worcester, Mike Colton has played an integral role in the Allied Special Forces Memorial Grove, which is now an integral part of the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.

"This project has been entirely funded by our own means for over 21 years at no cost to the NMA but in vital support of all the spirit of remembrance that exists in the extensive grounds," said Mr Colton, who served in the the SAS from 1973 to 1978 as a badged soldier. 


"We have been creating a place of remembrance, commemoration, education and quiet contemplation in harmony with nature during our introduction to the NMA by Sir David Childs in March 2003, however our original association started in January 1999.  

"The creation of the Allied Special Forces Association in those days was much maligned by the SAS Regimental Association and the director of Special Forces. 

"Their regimental journal editor at the time accused us of being Walter Mitty's and bar commandos pretending to be SAS in the pub.

"Hence why we are exceedingly proud to be recognised by King Charles III in the first ever Kings Awards 2023, with the presentation in the Sun Room at the centre of the Grove by the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire along with the Deputy Lieutenants, Admiral Sir Trevor Soar and Jane Sawyers.

"Also in attendance was Julia Mitchell, the High Sheriff of Staffordshire and more than 70 guests."