Posthumous George Medal for bomb disposal hero

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The Independent Online

A bomb disposal hero who defused 13 Taliban improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by hand in 36 hours of continuous activity was awarded a posthumous George Medal today.

Captain Daniel Shepherd, 28, of the Royal Logistic Corps, was killed attempting to disarm an IED at Nad-e-Ali in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, in July last year.

He was among more than 150 servicemen and women, many of whom served in Afghanistan last year, to be awarded honours today.

Capt Shepherd, from Lincoln, personally cleared 13 IEDs from a drugs bazaar without the use of a bomb disposal robot, protective suit or specialist electronic equipment.

He did it by hand over 36 hours while under sporadic enemy fire.

His medal citation reads: "He was an inspiration to his team. His personal actions directly and demonstrably saved the lives of innumerable Afghans, coalition and British forces before he made the ultimate sacrifice."

Six Conspicuous Gallantry Crosses were announced today, including one for Sergeant Marc Giles, of the Mercian Regiment, who rescued a seriously wounded Afghan soldier by throwing him across his shoulders and running across an area under enemy fire.

Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, 39, from Kirtlington, near Oxford, former commanding officer of 1st Battalion the Welsh Guards, who was killed in Afghanistan last July, was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service posthumously.

The list of recipients includes eight who are honoured posthumously, the highest number since the Second World War.

There are more awards for the men and women who served in Afghanistan last year as part of 19 Light Brigade than for any other UK military tour of the war-torn country.

Another Conspicuous Gallantry Cross goes to Serjeant Jaime Moncho, of 2nd Battalion The Rifles, for his bravery in recovering wounded and killed comrades while under fire in an incident last summer where five British soldiers died in two connected Taliban bomb attacks.

His citation reads: "His supreme courage in the face of the most testing of circumstances was exemplary and his personal actions steadied all those around him."

It is understood that Sjt Moncho will give evidence to the inquest into the deaths of his five comrades in Trowbridge later today.