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New Year Honours: Knighthood for Formula One motor racing star and Lewis Hamilton

Motor racing star Lewis Hamilton is one of 31 Hertfordshire people named in the New Year Honours list.

The Stevenage-born and raised Formula One record holder, who turns 36 next Thursday (Jan 7), is made a Knight Bachelor for his services to motor sports.

The list includes 10 people for their contributions to the country's Covid-19 response, including two chief nurses at London hospitals, a molecular virologist and the head of crisis response at the British Red Cross, all of whom are awarded MBEs.

Other notable honours include a CBE for Dr Pauline Williams, head of global health at GlaxoSmithKline in Stevenage, for services to medical research and development; an OBE for Dan Dark, lately MD of Warner Brothers Studios at Leavesden, for services to the UK film industry; and an MBE for Sarah Elizabeth Hope for services to child amputees and road crash victims in London.

The chairman of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust – which manages Thorley Wash Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Bishop's Stortford – is on the list: Mike Master, of Royston, gets an MBE for services to local wildlife and conservation.

Five people are awarded the British Empire Medal, including London junior doctor Dr Azeem Alam for services to medical education during Covid-19; Keith Delderfield, of the Douglas Bader Foundation and Stoke Mandeville Hospital, for services to disabled people; and Diana Smart, assistant secretary of the Hertfordshire County Show, for services to agriculture.

The boy racer from Stevenage who became seven-times Formula One world champion

The knighthood for Lewis Hamilton crowns a successful two months for the first and only black man to race in Formula One. In late October he broke Michael Schumacher's previous record of 91 career wins (he now has 95), in mid-November he equalled the German's record of seven World Drivers' Championships and last month he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year for the second time.

Sir Lewis was first crowned F1 world champion in 2008 and has won the title in six of the last seven years – not bad for a boy who began karting in 1993, when he was eight, at the Rye House circuit in Hoddesdon. The Mercedes driver, who raced for McLaren until 2013, also holds the F1 records for the most pole positions (98) and podium finishes (165).

He was listed in the 2020 issue of Time as one of the 100 most influential people globally. He has been credited with furthering F1's global following by appealing to a broader audience outside the sport, in part due to his high-profile lifestyle, environmental and social activism, and his exploits in music and fashion.

A target of racist abuse throughout his career, Sir Lewis has been outspoken in his criticism of racial politics in Formula One as well as advocating for greater diversity in the sport.


Knight Bachelor (KB)

Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton MBE – Formula One racing driver. For services to motor sports.

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

Christopher Montague Grigg – chief executive officer, British Land. For services to business, particularly during the Covid-19 response (Harpenden)

Keith John Thompson – lately chief executive officer, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. For services to science and to innovation (Hitchin)

Dr Pauline Margaret Williams – senior vice president and head of global health, GlaxoSmithKline. For services to medical research and development (Stevenage)

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Dan Dark – lately managing director, Warner Brothers Studios, Leavesden. For services to the UK film industry.

Josephine Lesley Fitton – lately curator, Greek Bronze Age collections and keeper, Department of Greece and Rome, British Museum. For services to museums and to the arts (Harpenden)

Jennifer Dawn Garrett – executive coach and leadership development specialist, Reflexion Associates Ltd. For services to entrepreneurship and to women in business (Hemel Hempstead)

Adrian Richard Hawkins – managing director, Welding World Ltd and founder, Weldability Sif. For services to business (Hitchin)

Fozia Tanvir Irfan – chief executive officer, Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation and trustee, Association of Charitable Foundations. For services to the community in Bedfordshire, particularly during the Covid-19 response (Watford)

Harvey Kleis Moore – for services to defence during Covid-19 (Hertford)

John Cruddas Murray – lately chief executive, Society of Maritime Industries. For services to the UK maritime sector (Harpenden)

Moira Sarah Sinclair – chief executive officer, Paul Hamlyn Foundation. For services to charity and the arts. (Berkhamsted)

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Steven Clarke – managing director, Bidfood Wholesale Depots. For services to the vulnerable during Covid-19 (St Albans)

Stephen Daniel De Silva – for services to heritage (St Albans)

Dr Roganie Govender – consultant clinical academic speech and language therapist. For services to speech and language therapy (Hitchin)

Dr Paul Robert Grant – molecular virology scientific and research and development lead, Health Services Laboratories. For services to healthcare science during the Covid-19 response (Abbotts Langley)

Sarah Elizabeth Hope – founder, Elizabeth's Legacy of Hope. For services to child amputees and road crash victims in London (Harpenden)

Sharon Howell – for charitable services in Hertfordshire (Hertford)

Michelle Johnson – chief nurse, Whittington Health NHS Trust. For services to nursing, particularly during the Covid-19 response (St Albans)

Carmen June Kelly – member of management committee, Cruse Bereavement Care. For services to bereaved people in Hertfordshire (Stevenage)

Lisa Elizabeth Knight – chief nurse, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust. For services to nursing during Covid-19 (Tring)

Simon Philip Lewis – head of crisis response, British Red Cross. For services to UK crisis response and to healthcare, particularly during Covid-19 (Bushey)

Michael Humphrey Harcourt Master – For services to wildlife and conservation in Hertfordshire and Middlesex (Royston)

Alexandra Gail Milne – staff commander, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry. For services to emergency incident response and to the Covid-19 response in London (Baldock)

Arpal Morzaria – attendance and wellbeing champion, Risk and Intelligence Service, HM Revenue and Customs. For services to staff wellbeing (Rickmansworth)

Dr Gloria Rowland – director of midwifery, Barts Health NHS Trust. For professional and voluntary services to midwifery (Hatfield)

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

Dr Azeem Alam – co-founder, BiteMedicine and junior doctor, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. For services to medical education during Covid-19 (Harpenden)

Keith Delderfield – director of operations, The Douglas Bader Foundation and deputy director, The Guttmann Sports Centre Stoke Mandeville. For services to people with disabilities (Tring)

Simon Daniel Jackson-Turner – For services to sport (Welwyn Garden City)

Albert Frederick John Scruby – instructor, Lea Rowing Club. For services to rowing in Clapton, London (Watford)

Diana Mary Smart – assistant show secretary, Hertfordshire County Show. For services to agriculture (Harpenden)

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