Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Friday, 11 September 2009 16:19 UK

Navy woman awarded Military Cross

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Ms Nesbitt will receive the medal later this year

A female medic from Devon who saved the life of a soldier while under attack has become the first woman in the Royal Navy to be awarded the Military Cross.

Able Seaman Class 1 Kate Nesbitt, from Plymouth, braved Taliban fire to tend to a soldier shot in the neck during a gun battle in Afghanistan in March.

The 21-year-old, of Whitleigh, will be awarded the medal later this year at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

She will be only the second woman in the Armed Forces to receive the medal.

'Exemplary actions'

The honour has been awarded because she repeatedly demonstrated courage under fire when she saved injured colleagues from Plymouth-based 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines.

The Ministry of Defence said: "Able Seaman Nesbitt's actions throughout a series of offensive operations were exemplary.

"Under fire and under pressure her commitment and courage were inspirational and made the difference between life and death.

It was so overwhelming just to have a pat on the back really so this is just completely out of this world
Able Seaman Kate Nesbitt

"She performed in the highest traditions of her service."

Able Seaman Nesbitt, who spent 30 minutes administering medical aid to a soldier while under fire, said: "I can't believe I am worthy of anything like this and I can't believe anyone would go out of their way to thank you in a more formal way.

"It was so overwhelming just to have a pat on the back really so this is just completely out of this world.

"I wouldn't ever have expected it."

Private Michelle Norris, from the Royal Army Medical Corps, was the first woman to win the Military Cross.

She dodged sniper fire to save the life of a critically injured colleague during a fierce battle in southern Iraq in 2006.



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