A PEEBLES Cadet Leader has just become one of only a few people each year to be awarded the Lord Lieutenant's Certificate of Meritorious Service.

Captain Andrew Ketteringham was presented with the award at a special ceremony on Monday evening in the Council offices in Peebles. Presenting the award was Captain David Younger, Lord-Lieutenant of Tweeddale with members of the Peebles Cadet force in attendance to celebrate the rare achievement.

The award was kept secret from the Blyth Bridge firefighter until only a few weeks ago, he revealed he knew nothing about the nomination.

A stunned Captain Ketteringham said: "I knew nothing about it until I received a phone call from Lieutenant Colonel Derek Lawson, I wasn't even aware that I had been nominated.

"It was a complete surprise to me and I have to admit it was a real thrill. I love working with the Cadets, and love being able to instil the values of honesty, hard work, and the chance to develop into great role models for others to follow." There is little doubt that Andrew practices what he believes in, the citation read out on the night by Lieutenant Colonel Derek Lawson stated: "Captain Ketteringham was appointed as a Sergeant Instructor in March 1996 and was commissioned in June 2003. He was promoted to Captain in August 2010.

"Andrew has served in a variety of appointments in the Battalion and in recent years was the Detachment Commander in Peebles.

"Following his promotion to Captain he served as the company second in command of 'E' Company, with responsibilities for detachments in Penicuik, Loanhead, Dalkeith, Bonnyrigg and Peebles.

"He has recently assumed the appointment of Duke of Edinburgh Award Officer and will have responsibility for promoting the award across the Battalion in addition to planning an monitoring expeditions for the cadets.

"As a keen sailor Andrew promoted dingy sailing within the Battalion and has arranged the sailing package on the Battalion Annual Camp for some years in which some 400 young people participate.

"His service is exemplary and he is an excellent role model for the cadets who benefit from his experience and instruction.

"Quietly efficient, Andrew has provided the highest level of community support in his local area and, for this and his overall contribution to the Battalion, he is awarded the Lord Lieutenant's Certificate of Meritorious Service." Among the people celebrating the achievement was William Tunnah, 21, who was one of the first cadets to be signed up by Captain Ketteringham.

He said: "I first met Andrew about eight years ago when he was running the Detachment in Peebles.

"He was there my entire career, he got me into kayaking and canoeing.

"He is also someone who has been there to talk to and to learn from as my career has progressed through to joining REMY.

"Andrew is someone I look up to and I certainly believe the award is hugely justified." Lieutenant Colonel Derek Lawson had the pleasure of informing the Captain of his nomination for the award he added: "He gives up so much of his own time to help young people.

"Andrew is out two to three nights per week, he is often out at weekends and is a mainstay at the Battalion Annual Camp.

"He is one of a handful of people to be offered this award and thoroughly deserves it."