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Friday 19 September 2014

Medals for Afghan campaign heroes

Published 22/03/2013 | 00:16

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Captain Michael Dobbin, from the Grenadier Guards, led a charge at insurgents in Nahr-e-Saraj (PA/MOD)
Army medic Lance Corporal Abbie Martin ignored Taliban bullets whistling overhead to treat a dying colleague (RLC/MOD/PA)
Lance Corporal Lawrence Kayser, of The Royal Anglian Regiment, risked his life to save his colleagues in Helmand (PA/MOD)

A soldier who single-handedly battled insurgents in Afghanistan, two members of the RAF who defended Camp Bastion from an attack and a female Army medic are among those recognised in the latest round of military honours.

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Some 118 members of the British Armed Forces are included in the latest Operational Honours list, published in the London Gazette.

Last weekend it was revealed that Lance Corporal James Ashworth, of the First Battalion, The Grenadier Guards, became the first recipient of the Victoria Cross since 2006 after being awarded it posthumously.

Captain Michael Dobbin, 28, from the Grenadier Guards, who was on the same patrol as L/Cpl Ashworth when he died, is awarded the Military Cross after he personally led a 200m charge at insurgents in Nahr-e-Saraj last summer.

The list also includes Lance Corporal Lawrence Kayser, who is awarded the Military Cross after saving colleagues from a "potentially disastrous situation" in Helmand Province in June 2012 when his platoon came upon a large-group of enemy while preparing an ambush.

When L/Cpl Kayser, from Woodton, Norfolk, and his platoon suddenly came under heavy insurgent fire, the 27-year-old leapt from a ditch, charged Taliban fighters and fought them at close quarters in their compound.

He shot and incapacitated an enemy in his path before being hit by shrapnel from a grenade, wounding his arm but fought on, driving the remaining insurgents out of the compound.

Also honoured are Sergeant Roy Geddes, 43, from the RAF Regiment, and Corporal Kurt Lee, also from the RAF, who battled insurgents when they attacked Camp Bastion in September last year, where Prince Harry was serving his tour of duty as an Apache gunner.

Sgt Geddes, from Elgin, Moray, receives the Military Cross after he "breathed fire into the spirit of his men" when Camp Bastion was attacked - despite being wounded in the knee after one of his vehicles was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. Sgt Geddes, who is only the second member of the RAF to receive the MC for action in Afghanistan, is recognised alongside Cpl Lee, 28, from Bury, Lancashire, who is Mentioned In Despatches for his own role in the battle.

As well as recognition of outstanding gallantry, the Operational Awards List also includes honours for meritorious service. Army medic Lance Corporal Abbie Martin, 20, who on her first tour of Afghanistan, then a Private, ignored Taliban bullets whistling overhead to treat a dying colleague. Several days later, despite a struggle to come to terms with the horror of her first patrol, she treated multiple casualties after a grenade blast, successfully saving all the injured.

Press Association

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