A Penryn man has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his outstanding contribution to the Royal Navy over the last 40 years.

Chief petty officer Paul Roberts has served in the navy at RNAS Culdrose since 1976, first joining the service at the age of 17.

Speaking about receiving the medal in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours List, he said: "I was over the moon, absolutely, it came totally out of the blue. It's not awarded to many people.

"I think around get awarded out of 30-odd thousand sailors. I think it was a thank you not for me being at work for a long time but how I do it.

"I think the award was because I'm a doer, I have a can-do attitude."

Paul was inspired to join the forces at a young age after visiting navy days in Plymouth. He said: "I wanted to have a different life than just working at home."

His career has undoubtedly been a colourful one, having "been round the world a couple of times" and seeing combat in various war zones.

He said: "I was on HMS Illustrious in the Falklands, the Bosnian War, Northern Ireland before the peace process, and I've done two tours of Afghanistan.

"I've ran aground in Bombay ... and went through a typhoon in the Philippines."

One of the many highlights of his long career was repairing an Australian Sea King helicopter at Christmas time.

He has served in various aircraft squadrons, ships and units maintaining and repairing helicopters across the globe, and is currently serving in the Frigate Refit Support Group at the Devonport Royal Dockyard.

Paul is also an active member of the Falmouth Society of Railway Modellers and part of the boating fraternity at Trevissome House in Flushing.

Looking back on his time in the navy, he said: "I have just enjoyed a long period of time, I just enjoyed the whole life."