Local Hero awarded BEM

Dean ‘Cass’ Pursell, 84, local resident and husband of one of Bow Belles founder members Cathy Pursell, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to ssafa – the Soldiers, Sailors, Air Force Families Association – the organisation which  provides practical, emotional, and financial support to anyone who is serving or has served in the forces and their families.

initation from Palace2



Dean receives his medal at the Tower of London.


Dean and Family 29-11-13

Dean and his family after the presentation.


Dean retired from the Army in 1984, worked in ‘civvy’ street unti 2000, retired aged 70 and then started work as a volunteer with ssafa, where he has worked 2 days a week plus time  for outside visits.  He is now starting to wind down, and will use the time to write his autobiography.


Tony Basra from the Geezers talked Dean  about his life in and out of the Army.



  1. Cass you put the Great in great Britain, what a legend, what a true servant of the country, makes me proud to be British. God bless

  2. Ray, I am over the moon that you have been awarded a BEM by HM the Queen. I know many people in the East End, but none as deserving as you. Wherever I go in my SSAFA work, everyone seems to know you and the work you do for the community. I am proud to be your friend Ray. One all! Dean

  3. I first met Dean some 20 years ago. When we both attended IT classes in the old Lefevre Walk Estate. Both retired. I went onto be elected onto local Council, Dean joined SAFA as a volunteer. Over the years I know the amount of people Dean as help who have ether served in the Forces or have had Families who have. If ever a Man deserved recognition for services to our Local People it is Dean. I am so please to have known such a person. Wish you all the very best in your now long overdue retirement. Ray.

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