Rob proud to be awarded MBE

An Exmouth Royal Marine has been honoured with an MBE for his ‘selfless compassion’ in helping to rehabilitate seriously injured comrades-in-arms.

Warrant Officer 2 Robert Toomey, 41, has worked as the Royal Marines liaison officer for injured personnel returning from operations at Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court for the past two years.

Living with his partner Lisa, a nurse at Exmouth Hospital’s minor injuries unit, and two sons, Ollie, 12 and George, 15, he joined the Royal Marines in July 1988, a year after leaving Exmouth Community College.

In his long career he has served with 40, 42 and 45 Commando in Northern Ireland, the Persian Gulf, and Iraq and in Afghanistan twice, receiving the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

He has been appointed as a member of the most Excellent Order of the British Empire for ‘leading, supporting and co-ordinating’ the activities of injured Royal Marines and Royal Naval personnel at the centre.

The letter from the Queen said: “Your selfless compassion and dedication are remarkable. Through your deft development of this crucial role, you have ensured that injured naval service personnel are expertly managed.

“Proactive and altruistic, you have supported all injured personnel at the centre, irrespective of their service, earning their trust and that of their families who also benefit from your extraordinary capacity for caring.

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“You have enabled profoundly injured personnel to take vital steps in their rehabilitation. Epitomising all the best in a Royal Marines Warrant Officer, your achievements in harrowing circumstances are in the finest traditions of the Corps.”

Rob, a keen rugby and boxing fan who played for Withycombe RFC and boxed for Lympstone Amateur Boxing Club, said: “I am really proud. It is a real honour. My mum was chuffed to bits.

“I started working at Headley Court after witnessing the first triple amputee, Mark Ormrod. I was his Sergeant Major at the time.

“To see how well he was doing and his determination inspired me to want to help.”

Rob learned this week that he will be visiting Buckingham Palace to collect his MBE on February 16: “You’re supposed to only take three guests but I’m taking my mum, Lisa and my two boys.

“They are really looking forward to a day at the palace!”