Page last updated at 16:43 GMT, Friday, 19 March 2010

East Midlands soldiers honoured

The soldiers have recently completed a tour of Afghanistan

A bomb disposal expert from Lincoln who was killed attempting to disarm a device in Afghanistan has been awarded the George Medal.

Capt Daniel Shepherd, 28, of the Royal Logistic Corps, from Lincoln, was awarded the honour for clearing 13 bombs while under fire.

Also honoured were Sgt Marc Giles and L/Cpl Kyle Smith of the Mercian Regiment for acts of bravery in battle.

Sgt Andrew McNulty was Mentioned in Dispatches for protecting a convoy.

Capt Shepherd's medal citation reads: "He was an inspiration to his team. His personal actions directly and demonstrably saved the lives of innumerable Afghans, coalition and British forces before he made the ultimate sacrifice."

His widow, Kerry, attended a ceremony in central London where the awards were announced and collected the citation for her late husband's award from General Sir Peter Wall, commander-in-chief land forces.

He will always be loved and never ever forgotten
Widow, Kerry Shepherd

She said: "I would like to take this opportunity to say how extremely proud I am today of Dan, as is his whole family - his parents David and Judith, and his brother Paul.

"This George Medal was awarded to him for his courage and bravery as he dealt daily with IEDs designed to harm British soldiers and Afghan civilians alike.

"This award is also for his whole team, all of them playing their part.

"The medal was awarded in light of his ultimate sacrifice. He will always be loved and never ever forgotten."

L/Cpl Kyle Smith, 21, of the Mercian Regiment, was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross after twice braving heavy enemy fire to drag wounded comrades to safety.

Heavy fire

His platoon was ambushed by an insurgent rocket-propelled grenade strike on the third day of Operation Panther's Claw - a major offensive against the Taliban in Helmand - last July.

He knowingly exposed himself to heavy fire to rescue two injured soldiers who were in danger of further attacks. They both survived.

L/Cpl Smith, from Arnold, Nottinghamshire, said the adrenalin kicked in as he recovered his comrades, who were still wearing heavy body armour and helmets and carrying their weapons.

"You're there and see your friends on the floor, and they need help. You help them - it's the way of the army," he said.

Sgt Marc Giles, 29, from Nottingham, also of the Mercian Regiment, who rescued a seriously wounded Afghan soldier by throwing him across his shoulders and running across an area under enemy fire.

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