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Royal Recognition for Packwood

HM The Queen to Bestow OBE on Allen Packwood,
Director of the Churchill Archives Centre

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It was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List that Allen Packwood is to be recognized by Her Majesty as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to archives and scholarship. Packwood, a member of The Churchill Centre’s Board of Trustees, will now become entitled to use the post nominals “OBE” after his name. “I was thrilled to see you have today received your very well deserved OBE,” Randolph Churchill wrote to Packwood, “There will be many who will be delighted to see that you have been properly recognised.”

Allen Packwood is the Director of the Churchill Archives Centre, which is located in the grounds of Churchill College, Cambridge and is home to the papers of Sir Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and almost six hundred of their contemporaries: politicians, diplomats, civil servants, military leaders, and scientists of the Churchill era and beyond. Packwood is a qualified archivist and has worked at the Centre since September 1995, succeeding Dr. Piers Brendon as Acting Keeper in 2001, before being appointed Director in 2002.

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is the order of chivalry of British constitutional monarchy rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service. It was established in1917 by King George V, who wished to honour the many people who had served in a variety of roles during the First World War.

On behalf of The Churchill Centre, Chairman Laurence Geller wrote Packwood: “I cannot begin to offer you adequate congratulations on your receiving the OBE on this, the official ninetieth birthday of Her Majesty, The Queen. This honor has been long deserved and well earned, and you should know how incredibly happy for, and proud of you, we all are. You have contributed so much to so many with such willingness, good nature, patience and humor.”

Historian Sir David Cannadine also joined, as he put it, “the swelling chorus of acclaim and celebration” to tell Packwood: “I hope this honour will give you even more pleasure than it will give your many friends, of whom I am proud and privileged to count myself as one. Hurrah, bravo, and a million congratulations.” Many, including Randolph Churchill, observed that the award was also recognition of Packwood’s “leadership and commitment to Churchill 2015,” the year-long series of events commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Sir Winston’s passing and the rededication to teaching new generations about the Great Man’s life and legacy.

For his part, the ever modest Packwood observed: “My youngest daughter has informed me over breakfast that I am now on a par with Ant and Dec and Brian Blessed,” celebrities from the world of entertainment who were also recognized by Her Majesty.

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