Pewsey Wives Choir founder gets MBE tribute
4:00pm Thursday 19th June 2014 in By Anna Mauremootoo, Senior reporter for Marlborough and Pewsey
Founder of the Military Wives Choir Nicky Clarke has been made an MBE in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The Pewsey mother set up the choir in 2010, while husband Hugo was deployed in Afghanistan, to help and support other military wives.
Their musical experiment was the subject of a BBC television series featuring choirmaster Gareth Malone.
The wives went on to record a chart-topping single, Wherever You Are, which raised more than £500,000 for Sailors, Airmen Families Association (SSAFA) and the Royal British Legion.
There are now 76 Military Wives Choirs across the UK, which are looked after by the Army Wives Choir Foundation, of which Mrs Clarke is the chairman of trustees.
Her work over the last four years has been recognised with an MBE for services to military families.
She said: “I am completely overwhelmed to have been honoured in this way.
“I received a letter about a month ago and it was quite a shock, but we had to keep it a secret.
“Just my husband and I knew and it was very difficult not to tell everyone, but now it is a joy to be able to share the news.”
The 43-year-old works as an NHS psychotherapist in Wiltshire and is currently on maternity leave, after having her first child, daughter Amelie, nine months ago.
She said: “It’s quite good, because it gives me time to spend on my volunteer work. As soon as she is down, I’m on the phone and sending off emails.
“In the first year, we aimed to have ten military wives choirs and there ended up being 40, which shows how amazing military wives are and how much they can do.”
Her husband, a former major in the Scots Guards, retired last year and now does consultancy work for military organisations.