OBE for Alumni Lucy Ottley

Published 22 January 2024

We were so pleased to hear that former student, Lucy Ottley (neé Bell), has been awarded an OBE in the King’s 2024 New Year Honours List.

Lucy studied her A Levels (Human Biology, Sociology and Theatre Studies) at St Bart’s from 1994-96 and also spent two years as part of the Navy contingent in the Combined Cadet Force where she became one of the four Divisional Officers in the Section. It was this time which inspired her to follow a career into the Armed Forces.

Following her time at St. Barts, Lucy spent 23 years in the Royal Navy where she specialised as a Logistics Officer and achieved the rank of Commander. As well as serving on board numerous ships, she has served with the Royal Marines in Norway, Mine Clearance in the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf and Land Operations in Afghanistan, Eastern Europe and the Far East.  She also led the Royal Navy Servicewomen’s Network for the last three years to improve the lived experiences of servicewomen and encourage others to achieve the best from their careers.

In addition, in July 2021 Lucy was invited to become a special advisor to the Secretary of State for Defence (then Ben Wallace MP) to bring about change to Tri-Service policies to address recommendations made in the Atherton Report, the House of Commons Defence Committee (HCDC) inquiry into the lived experiences of servicewomen published on 21 July 2021.

All recommendations, as well as a number of other initiatives, were successfully delivered over the proceeding two years. It was also during this time that Lucy led the project for the Royal Navy to collaborate across their Diversity Networks to raise the profile of some of the service’s best people and deliver an awards ceremony, which not only celebrated the diversity of the workforce, but brought the networks together to successfully achieve better support and conditions for all in the Royal Navy.

These projects were undertaken whilst remaining employed in a High Readiness Operation Headquarters with regular deployments abroad, which included Eastern Europe and Korea.

Speaking about her OBE, Lucy said: “I am delighted to have received my state honour in the King’s New Year Honours. It is important for everyone to thrive in their workplaces, so to be recognised for this work, which I undertook voluntarily in addition to my primary role, is a huge achievement for myself and I share with my former naval servicewomen’s network colleagues.”