A NEW portrait has been unveiled of a Stonehouse army officer who died of cancer.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Holder died at the age of 50 in March 2017, only a few months after his wedding and the birth of his first son.

The portrait was unveiled last month in recognition of his dedication to the country by the Worshipful Company of Carmen.

The award honours Lieutenant Colonel Paul Holder's 33-year service in the armed forces where he served in Afghanistan, Ireland, Germany, Hong Kong, and Africa.

After being diagnosed in October 2016 and being told he had only weeks or months to live, Paul married his long-term Dutch partner Annemiek at a family ceremony in Holland in November.

Only a matter of days before Christmas he saw the birth of his first son Frank. 

A spokesperson for the Worshipful Company of Carmen said: “Paul was the first serving officer to be Master, not only of the Worshipful Company of Carmen, but of any Livery in the City of London since World War II.

“The respect and support of his military peers and superiors have in part enabled this and, in return, he delivered an exemplary year of military service alongside his Mastership.

“Paul’s legacy will never be forgotten by the Worshipful Company of Carmen or the Royal Logistic Corps.” 

A soldier and humanitarian Paul rose up through the ranks to become a Lieutenant Colonel - one of the army’s top ranks.

Paul’s mother, Valerie Anne Farley, who lives in Stonehouse, said: “Paul was a very funny, loving and caring man who loved his family very much. 

“He lived life to the full and saw so much of the world. I’m so proud of him. 

“Paul is so sadly missed and this recognition of him is absolutely wonderful.” 

The Worshipful Company of Carmen is a fellowship bringing together different professional disciplines and individual interests.

It is one of the 110 livery companies in the City of London, dating back to 1517 and is one of the largest with more than 600 members. 

The company awards and recognises significant achievements, contributions and innovations of individuals, companies, and the military services.

Paul worked in aid programs overseas and helped build schools and hospitals in the wake of the Haiti earthquake.

His quick wit and kind heart endeared him to many, including celebrity friends such as James Bond actor Daniel Craig and Sean Penn, and he also had the honour of meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace on many occasions.

He served as an officer commanding 20 Transport Squadron RLC during his army career; the current officer commanding, Major Mark Pasalk, accepted Paul's tribute on behalf of the Corps.

The presentation was made in the Medal Room of the new RLC Museum at Worthy Down in the presence of many senior army officers. 

Paul's tribute is located in The Carmen’s Room of the 20 Transport Squadron Officers’ Mess at Regent’s Park Barracks in London.