Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey, 27, has become the first living soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross during the Afghan campaign and only the 15th to be awarded the medal since the end of the Second World War.
The Para has been given the British armed forces’ highest military decoration awarded for valour in the face of the enemy for heroic exploits in Afghanistan.
He received his medal for the role he played during a combined UK/US assault on a Taliban stronghold in Bar Now Zad, Helmand province, on August 22 2013.
The 1 Para man showed “complete disregard” for his own safety as the group came under attack from around 20 insurgents armed with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades.
First he ran to the top of a barren hill and, with the “snap and crack” of enemy fire all around him, realised that two friendly machine gun teams had been surrounded.
Despite being the most junior member of the group he took control of the situation, giving first aid to a wounded US Marine Corps captain and beginning casualty evacuation.
He then went back up the hill and took control of one of the machine guns, with bullets ricocheting off its frame, before running down again, drawing enemy fire and helping regain the initiative.
During the battle, 11 insurgents were killed and four wounded.
L/Cpl Leakey, who joined 1 Para in 2007 and served during three tours in Afghanistan, said that he was “deeply honoured” but insisted that the award was for everyone in his regiment and battalion.
This is taken from the Interweb but I’m unable to source it as it seems to have been moved. If it’s yours I’ll be happy to either acknowledge you or remove it – your call.