MBE honour for Second World War veteran originally from Fleetwood

A 98 year old Second World War veteran who was born and brought up in Fleetwood has been awarded an MBE for services to British nationals overseas.

By Richard Hunt
Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 5:13 pm

British expat Dr Charles Betty, who has lived in Spain for 37 years, received the MBE from Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, at Windsor Castle in January.

It was reward and recognition for all the voluntary work he has carried out since he and his wife, Eileen, retired to Spain.

The former Welsh Fusilier, who participated in the D-day landings and was awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French in 2014, was with his family in the UK when he first heard of the

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Ex-serviceman Charles Betty, originally from Fleetwood, has been awarded the MBE


The delighted 98-year-old said that the award had ‘come out of the blue’, although expressing regret that his beloved wife of 72 years, who died in 2019, was not alive to share

it with him.

Charles grew up on Darbishire Road in Fleetwood and was the son of a chief engineer on trawlers that fished out of the town.

Charles receiving his MBE from Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge

He even went to sea himself, accompanying his father on a deep sea fishing trip to Iceland, but he was sick throughout the voyage and vowed never to try it again.

Charles, who left Fleetwood after the war, said of his award: “It is an enormous honour to be given an MBE and I felt privileged that it was presented by Prince William.

"It was an incredible moment in my life and the Prince seemed genuinely interested in my work in Spain.

"The whole Investiture experience at Windsor Castle was truly amazing.

"It was very emotional and I was made to feel really special.

"I can only thank all the many who have supported me over the years, especially my wife, who now is no longer with me.

"She always used to say encourage me saying 'Charles, you can and you will do it'.

"She would have loved the whole occasion."

Charles’ son Paul accompanied his Father for the ceremony and other family members were at Windsor to greet him and celebrate the occasion.

Paul said: ”We are all so proud of what Dad has achieved over a long period of time. He is a true inspiration and really deserved his


"Seeing him receive the MBE from Prince William was both emotional and amazing.

"The Prince showed great interest in my Dad’s work and my Dad also made the Prince smile when he asked him about his football team!"

Charles received his Honour for his services to British Nationals overseas on the Costa Del Sol region.

He established a network of volunteer Interpreters to help combat language difficulties in health centres and hospitals.

He also co-founded the Age Care Association, an organisation that offers assistance to British senior citizens that live in the province of


Charles continues to contribute to the Embassy and Consulates’ understanding of the needs of older British people in Spain and, as he points out, has no plans of retiring just yet

H said: “I will continue with my work and remain committed to helping more British people who need support and advice about their lives in Spain."

Charles also became the oldest student in the UK to receive what was his second PhD, graduating from Northampton University in 2018