DEVOTED Royalist Major Robert McDonald has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Major McDonald, of Williton, who is the chairman of the Royal British Legion in Somerset and Bristol, receives the accolade for voluntary service to veterans.

A soldier for 33 years after joining the Army at the age of 16, he was a member of the group that oversaw the building of Watchet War Memorial in 2014.

After leaving the Army and working in legal services for 16 years, he retired to Williton, where he has been heavily involved in the community.

He joined Williton Parish Council, where he was chairman for four years, and also chaired a group set up to create a contingency plan to deal with flooding following the 2012 floods.

He is also chairman of the @West assisted transport group, which ferries children to school on Exmoor and takes vulnerable people on shopping trips.

Speaking of hearing the news of his BEM award, Major McDonald said: "I was amazed. I didn't know anybody had recommended me.

"It's a big honour, especially being given it in the Platinum Jubilee year. As an ex serviceman, I do fully support the Royal Family.

"It's a huge privilege to get the award and to get it on behalf of the community I live in and RBL veterans."