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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 September 2006, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
VC hero Beharry awarded promotion
Pte Johnson Beharry
Pte Beharry was seriously injured while serving in Iraq
The first living soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) in nearly four decades has been given a promotion, the Ministry of Defence has said.

Johnson Beharry, from Grenada in the West Indies, was promoted from private to lance corporal for "distinguished and exceptional service".

The 27-year-old was given the VC last year, for his actions in Iraq.

He twice led comrades to safety during attacks in the town of al-Amarah in May 2004, suffering serious injuries.

On 1 May 2004, he guided a five-vehicle convoy through a mile of enemy ground to drop off wounded comrades.

Weeks later, his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. Despite suffering a serious head wound, he managed to reverse his Warrior to safety.

Family feud

But he has recently revealed how the fame accompanying his VC award - the first to a living soldier since 1969 - came at a high price.

In his book Barefoot Soldier, due to be published soon, he has revealed that his days of active service are over because of a brain injury he suffered in the second attack.

And amid family feuding, he and his wife announced their separation last year.

L/Cpl Beharry's promotion means his daily pay has risen from 54.60 a day to 58.79.

As the holder of the Victoria Cross he also receives an annual award of 1,495.


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27 Jan 06 |  Southern Counties

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