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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 February, 2004, 07:26 GMT
Teenage hero gets bravery medal
Trooper Christopher Finney
Trooper Finney: the youngest to receive the George Cross
A 19-year-old soldier will become one of the youngest serviceman to receive The George Cross.

Trooper Christopher Finney from Greater Manchester, will be given the award by The Queen at Buckingham Palace for saving a comrade in the Iraq war.

It happened during a "friendly fire" attack from US warplanes near Basra in March last year.

Nearly 100 people who were involved in the Iraq War will be honoured at the investiture on Wednesday.

Others being honoured include Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burridge, who led the British forces in Iraq.

Hit and wounded

He will be made a Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.

Trooper Finney had been in the Blues and Royals for less than a year.

He pulled his gunner, from the turret of a armoured vehicle as it was engulfed in flames.

But as he assisted his colleague, both were hit and wounded.

The George Cross is the second highest award for gallantry given in the armed forces, surpassed only by the Victoria Cross.

It was instituted in 1940 by King George VI during World War II, and is awarded only for acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger.

The investiture has been given over to those who served in Iraq.

Awards will be presented to 96 military and civilian personnel.

A second investiture of the same kind will be held next week giving a total of more than 300 honours to service men or women.

The BBC's Luisa Baldini
"The 19 year old says he was only doing his duty"


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