A FORMER Beaminster Grammar School student who has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours says he owes a huge debt to his Dorset teachers.

Gregory Stevens Cox was honoured for his services to Guernsey history and culture.

Dr Cox attended Beaminster Grammar School between 1957 and 1963 before his family moved to the island.

He has kept in touch with fellow pupils but says he is grateful to his teachers.

He said: “I owe an enormous debt to my teachers at the old grammar school – John Carpenter and Miss Margaret Barnes the history teacher.

“They loved their subjects and I think that is essential to teaching.”

He said he was both stunned and humbled by his MBE.

He said: “I was totally stunned, literally. It never occurred to me that one would get one.”

“I am very humbled because I think of all of those people who risk their lives or nurse the sick. I do feel somewhat embarrassed to be honoured for what is really my passionate hobby.

Dr Cox’s first degree was at Oxford and he went on to take his doctorate in economic and social history at Leicester University.

His thesis was about Saint Peter Port in 18th century which he says was important because it handled vast quantities of brandy, gin, rum, wine, tea and tobacco and sold them to Dorset smugglers.

Dr Cox retired two years ago after an enjoyable career as a schoolmaster teaching classics and history.

Dr Cox has written several books and monographs about Guernsey history.

His books were printed by the Bridport firm Creeds recently relocated to Gore Cross Business Park.