Page last updated at 21:20 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

Bravery in Afghanistan honoured

Military Cross
The Military Cross is awarded for exemplary gallantry

Three Kent-based soldiers have been awarded one of the military's highest honours whilst serving in Afghanistan.

The men are from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, which are based at Howe Barracks, in Canterbury.

They are to receive the Military Cross for their courage and leadership during fierce battles with the Taleban in Afghanistan last year.

"It's a proud day for everybody and... for the individuals," Lt Col David Richmond, commanding officer, said.

"Collectively it's a great day, because it's a team effort.

"The team has got themselves to a position - they did something extraordinary, and justifiably have been rewarded for it."

'Personal bravery'

Major Nick Calder was leading his platoon when they found themselves in the middle of a well-planned ambush by enemy fighters.

His citation said he safely led them out of danger, and provided "an example of unflinching physical and moral courage".

Also ambushed by the Taleban, 2nd Lt Alexander Barclay realised that a vehicle was missing from his patrol, so he turned his men back through the ambush, saving three lives, despite the fact that he had been shot in the leg.

He was praised for his "personal bravery, determination and leadership of the very highest order".

Cpl Shaun Whitehead was hailed for his "performance, initiative and steadfastness in the face of the enemy" which had "an immediate positive effect on all those involved in the battle, allowing Delta Company to make significant gains".

He said: "My aim was that the men that were under my command came home safe and in one piece. I was lucky to achieve that."

The men are based at Howe barracks in Canterbury

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