We are delighted to report that retired Osprey illustrator Mike Chappell has received, quite rightly, recognition of his skills as a painter of subjects relating to military history. Veteran readers will recall his outstanding contribution to the Men-at-Arms series, amongst others, and Mike now has a British Empire Medal to his credit.
Fellow Osprey legend Martin Windrow was at the BEM award ceremony:
On 4 November I had the great pleasure of attending Mike Chappell's investiture with the British Empire Medal for services to military history. Since Mike lives in France, the ceremony was conducted by the British Ambassador, Sir Peter Ricketts, at our Embassy in Paris.
It all went off immaculately, as was to be expected. The Embassy - acquired in 1814 by the Duke of Wellington from Napoleon's frisky sister Pauline (acquired by honest purchase, I must add) - is palatial, and the public salons are a symphony of crimson and gold, marble and fine art. The Ambassador and his aides were thoroughly friendly and efficient, making everybody feel at ease, welcome, and very well looked-after. Sir Peter's preliminary remarks were very well briefed, and Mike's words of appreciation and thanks were well-chosen and admirably brief. His new gong was duly wetted, both courtesy of the Embassy's cellars and afterwards at a splendid dinner organized with predictable efficiency and generosity by Mike's son, Wing Commander John Chappell, RAF. All in all, it was an occasion in which all friends of Osprey could take pride