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Victoria Cross: Paratrooper Joshua Leakey becomes Britain's first living holder of UK's highest honour from war in Afghanistan

He received the honour for showing “complete disregard” for his own life

Kim Sengupta
Thursday 26 February 2015 01:00 GMT
Lance Corporal Joshua Mark Leakey of the Parachute Regiment
Lance Corporal Joshua Mark Leakey of the Parachute Regiment (PA)

A paratrooper has become Britain’s first living holder of the Victoria Cross from the Afghan war. Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey was given the nation’s highest decoration for valour for “complete disregard” for his own life to safeguard others during an ambush in Helmand, Afghanistan.

L/Cpl Leakey, who has seen three tours of duty in Afghanistan, said he was “deeply honoured”, but the award also belonged to his comrades. He said: “The only thing I was really scared of was letting my cap badge down. That’s why I joined the Army – to be a paratrooper. I’m lucky, I’m here, I’ve got all my limbs, my health, I’ve got my friends and my family.”

David Cameron said: “L/Cpl Leakey epitomised valour with his actions on that hillside in Helmand.”

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