Military Cross award

A soldier from Wells has been awarded the Military Cross for his efforts with the Royal Anglians in Helmand in southern Afghanistan.Six members of the battalion received one of the highest honours, the Military Cross, five soldiers received a Mention in Dispatches and another officer was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service.

A soldier from Wells has been awarded the Military Cross for his efforts with the Royal Anglians in Helmand in southern Afghanistan.

Six members of the battalion received one of the highest honours, the Military Cross, five soldiers received a Mention in Dispatches and another officer was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service.

In addition, out of 120 commendations given out among the 8,000 troops that served in Helmand last summer, 48 went to the Royal Anglians.

Lt Col Stuart Carver, commanding officer of the battalion, was awarded a Distinguished Service Order for his exemplary leadership.


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Informing his men of the awards yesterday, he told them: “I subscribe to the theory that any award to a commanding officer reflects on the whole battalion.”

The six MCs are an historic achievement for the battalion. The Royal Anglian Regiment has only ever been awarded four since it was formed in 1964.

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Lt Col Carver said: “While some people may see medals as a piece of metal on a ribbon, to us they are far more than that. They are recognition of a job well done in Afghanistan.

But the tour of Helmand was costly for the battalion - known as the Vikings - with nine killed in action and more than 120 wounded.

Maj Philip Blanchfield, from Fakenham, received the QCVS for offering guidance to others “despite an incredible workload and under enormous pressure”.

L/Cpl Levi Ashby: The 21-year-old from Wells received the Military Cross for his actions during a rocket propelled grenade attack, which left five of his comrades seriously wounded. He took control of his section and, despite being a relatively young NCO, his actions were regarded as decisive in beating a determined enemy and in rescuing and saving the lives of his injured colleagues. L/Cpl Ashby, a former pupil of Alderman Peel High School, in Wells, found himself on open ground and put down covering fire while the casualties were extracted from the scene.

He said: “When the bombs landed I was not 100pc sure whether there were any friendly casualties but then I heard there was a man down so I pushed forward to do what I could.”

A month earlier, Ashby had found himself in a dangerous position, under attack and exposed in open ground. A rocket propelled grenade had left five of his close comrades injured. It was down to him to provide covering fire from his exposed position to enable the casualties to be moved to safety. For that, he won the Military Cross.

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