A SOLDIER who baked for royalty is among four South Yorkshire armed forces members honoured after clocking up more than a century of service between them.
They were presented with Lord Lieutenant’s Awards - one of the highest honours in the forces and which ranks alongside the MBE - during a ceremony at Endcliffe Hall in Sheffield.
Longest-serving was Army reservist and culinary expert Captain Peter Batty, aged 60, from Normanton Springs.
These days, he is an officer with 212 Field Hospital Territorial Army unit based at Endcliffe Hall but Peter’s career in the armed forces spans over 43 years. He originally joined Manor Top-based 38 Signal Regiment aged only 17 as a reservist volunteer before signing up to the regular army as a chef three years later, in 1973.
Peter went on to win awards and medals for the Army in the world Culinary Olympics, and was soon instructing other chefs as well as cooking. He started making cakes for members of the royal household whilst working as an instructor at the Army School of Catering in the 1970s and 1980s and later catered for troops ranging from a General to an elite SAS unit.
Describing his work for royalty, Peter said: “In 1979, Princess Anne came to visit troops in Germany and I was commissioned to make a jet black petit four sugar casket with drawers that opened and closed. It was quite ornate.
“A week later, I was on a field exercise when I received a thank you letter from the Princess. I’ve kept it to this day - it’s hung in my office at Endcliffe Hall.”
Peter also produced a similar casket for the Queen Mother.
He said: “I count myself very fortunate and honoured to have received such a prestigious award, although I don’t feel I’ve done anything out of the ordinary to deserve it.”