THEY are Hampshire’s finest.

Today the achievements of 20 people across the county have been recognised as they appear in the New Year’s Honour’s list.

From business leaders to those who have inspired their communities, a collection of medals have been awarded as a reward for their exceptional efforts.

Being made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) is Southampton Solent University vice-chancellor Van Gore, below,  for services to higher education.

Daily Echo: Professor Van Gore – vice-chancellor of Southampton Solent University.

He first joined the institution as vice-principal back in 2001, when it was Southampton Institute and has since risen through the ranks.

Prof Gore is spearheading massive expansion plans at the university including a £25m new teaching hub.

He said: "I am delighted to accept this award in recognition of my services to higher education.

"However I feel I am accepting it on behalf of all colleagues at Southampton Solent University, whose support, hard work and enthusiasm have played a huge part in the success of our institution."

Also receiving a CBE is Dr Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer for the Department of Health.

The dad-of-two from Kings Worthy has been given the honour for services to the pharmacy profession and patients Receiving an OBE is Southampton’s newly retired port director for Associated British Ports (ABP), Doug Morrison, below.

Daily Echo: Port director Doug Morrison

His career has spanned five decades and he has been port director in Southampton since 2005.

Mr Morrison has now retired from his position as well as of chairman of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

He said: “I’m delighted.

To have this recognition for my involvement in the port industry in the past 45 years is fantastic.

“The port is in a good place at the moment, and I’m looking forward to going to Buckingham Palace to be awarded my OBE.”

Also collecting the honour is Professor Peter Sonksen, below, for services to anti-doping in sports.

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The 76-year-old who lives in Preshaw, near Bishop’s Waltham, is also a visiting professor at Southampton Univer s i t y and led an international team of scientists to develop a more reliable test for Human Growth Hormone (HGH) abuse.

It was used for the first time at London 2012 Olympics and caught two Russian Paralympian power lifters who the standard test had failed to pick up.

Prof Sonksen, 76, said he was “thrilled” to be recognised. He said: “I have no idea who put me up for it.

It came as a complete surprise but a very nice surprise.”

Winchester-based planning lawyer Richard Harwood QC is also awarded an OBE for his services to planning and environment law decision-making.

Hampshire police officer Linda Dawson, below, who led pioneering work to help victims of stalking and harassment, has been recognised with an MBE.

Detective chief inspector Dawson , who works with the Hampshire Major Investigation Team (HMIT), moved to the force in 1991 and was involved in the high profile stalking case of Anthony Burstow and his victim Tracey Morgan.

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She assisted with the drafting of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and the subsequent Home Office training.

Commenting on her award, she said: “I am highly delighted. It is a great honour for me but could not have been achieved without the sheer tenacity, courage and expertise of many people who have been equally passionate about ensuring that victims of stalking are protected.”

Dr Carol Trotter, below, has been recognised with an MBE for her work in old age psychiatry and services to mental health.

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The 63-year-old consultant psychiatrist, of Botley, has worked at St James Hospital in Portsmouth from 1981 until she retired in April this year helping elderly people suffering with mental health issues and their families.

“I feel very pleased. It’s not a glamorous speciality and I think it’s really nice that they recognised someone like me.”

It is not only his 43 years working with maps for which David Carter has been honoured with an MBE.

The father-of-one, of Bishopstoke, along with wife Rachel set up the first voluntary branch of the National Autistic Society in Hampshire.

David, who retired from his job at Ordnance Survey in May, spent 25 years drawing maps and helped produce the organisation’s first world map. He is also praised for his voluntary work in the 2nd Eastleigh Boys Brigade.

Professor Paul Tyler, below, from Fordingbridge is made MBE for his services to science.

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He has been singled out for his work in deepsea biology and is a professorial research fellow at the University of Southampton National Oceanography Centre.

Alexandra Day, director of adult continuing education at Peter Symonds College in Winchester, also received an MBE as did Professor Albert Jones, head of conservation at the Mary Rose Trust; John Phillips, co-chair of the Learning Partnership Board on the Isle of Wight and Helen Sinclair, founder of Friends of the Animals in Ryde.

Picking up a British Empire Medal is Rebecca Binstead, below, from Fair Oak, for her work in supporting Coastguard and search and rescue operations.

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The 47- year-old is the UK Search and Rescue manager based at the company ’ s headquarters in Southampton and has been working for the organisation for more than 20 years.

Rebecca, of Ridgeway Close, said: “It is a great honour for me, but also a reflection of the tremendous work of all the staff and volunteers. We do feel we make a difference to people – one life saved is great.”

After losing his friends in an IRA terrorist bomb attack, Jonathan Yates, below, has devoted his time to helping other injured soldiers and bereaved families and has been given a BEM for his work.

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The retired Navy serviceman, who had a 36-year career in the Royal Marines, volunteers with the 50- strong Royal Marines Association Concert Band, a fundraising group which he helped found and plays lead trumpet.

Born and brought up on the Isle of Wight, Jonathan, 65, now of Lee-on-Solent, joined up at 14 as one of many band boys in 1962.

The grandfather-of-one lost 11 of his friends when a bomb went off at the Royal Marines School of Music in Deal, Kent, in 1989.

He said: “I’m lucky – I was very peripherally hurt so I never needed to call for help, but I know it’s there if I need it,” he said.

Speaking of his award he added: “I’m really surprised and very honoured.”

Geoff Morgan's first job at the New Forest and Hampshire County Show was as a steward in 1954 – now he is the chairman and celebrating being recognised with a BEM.

The 74-year-old, above, who ran a dairy farm in Pennington for most of his working life, has been at the helm of the agricultural extravaganza since 2001 and is stepping down in February.

He is recognised for services to farming, rural issues and heritage in Hampshire.

Mr Morgan, below, said: “I much appreciate the fact that you go on working for others all your life and when something like this comes along it is very welcome.”

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Also collecting a BEM is Patricia Spears, for services to the Winchester community and Wendy Gannon, founder of Friends of Brading Roman Villa in Brading, Isle of Wight, for services to heritage.