Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Friday, 12 June 2009 11:35 UK

Soldiers receive Military Cross

Clp Shaun Whitehead
Cpl Whitehead was recognised for leading his team through an attack

Three soldiers with the Royal Regiment of Scotland have been honoured for their bravery in Afghanistan.

Maj Nicholas Calder, 2nd Lt Alexander Barclay and Cpl Shaun Whitehead, received the Military Cross from the Prince of Wales.

The soldiers were honoured for actions during their deployment to Helmand Province last summer.

Cpl Whitehead, based in Harrogate, was praised for his "steadfastness" in the face of a Taliban ambush.

The three soldiers, who are all members of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, which is currently based at the Howe Barracks in Canterbury, received the gallantry honour from the Prince of Wales.

Maj Calder said after the Buckingham Palace ceremony: "This is a great honour. Words cannot really explain the pride I feel at getting an award such as this.

"I feel this recognises the work of the company during our seven months in Afghanistan."

He led D Company in the area around Musa Qala, heading patrols into the "green zone", where they took the fight to the Taliban.

'Real honour'

2nd Lt Barclay, a platoon commander in B Company, was shot in the leg during one action near Lashkar Gah.

His citation said his "personal bravery, determination and leadership of the very highest order ensured that three men escaped a Taliban ambush alive."

Cpl Whitehead talks about the operation that led to his honour

Cpl Whitehead, originally from Edinburgh, was involved in an action in August 2008 in which his "performance, initiative and steadfastness in the face of the enemy had an immediate positive effect on all those involved in the battle", allowing the company "to make significant gains".

He said it was a "real honour" to receive the Military Cross.

Also honoured was aircraft engineer George Francis, 48, from Duton Hill, near Stansted Airport, awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for saving the life of friend and colleague Allen Walker after their plane crashed on take-off and turned into a fireball in September 2006.

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