RAF honour for inspirational Ann-Marie who made bucket list while fighting cancer

Ann-Marie Noble
Ann-Marie Noble

A BRAVE RAF officer who lost her battle with cervical cancer has been posthumously commended for excelling in her work despite her illness.

Hartlepool’s Ann-Marie Noble, a flight lieutentant at RAF Marham, in Norfolk, and two other members of Marham’s Training Development Flight were awarded the Royal Air Force Number 1 Group Team Commendation, for “meritorious service” to the RAF.

Ann-Marie, whose family live in West View Road, passed away on December 15 aged just 32.

The former English Martyrs School and Hartlepool Sixth Form student had inspired others by encouraging other women and girls to have smear tests and told how she planned to live life to the full with a “bucket list” of about 30 things to do in what time she had left.

The commendation, from Group Captain Harry Smyth, was presented to Ann-Marie’s family during a memorial ceremony held at RAF Marham.

It describes how Ann-Marie and her team developed new NVQ training methods, and Ann-Marie’s “steely determination to motivate her team” despite discovering she had a serious and challenging illness.

The commendation also hails the team as being the “epitome of commitment”, training more than 200 corporals and airmen to set them on a path for future development.

Ann-Marie’s mum, Ann Walsh, married to Mick and also mum to Philippa Noble and Melissa Walsh, said: “We are all very proud of Ann-Marie, as we always have been.

“She was still working and putting everything in place with her team, even though she was getting all the treatment.”

Again she expressed her gratitude to those who helped with Ann-Marie’s bucket list, saying: “We want to thank everyone for all they did for her, peole who didn’t even know her donated.”

The commendation is a prestigious award from the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) and only a few are handed out.