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Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 20:28 GMT
Major speaks of gallantry award
Major Richard Head
Major Head paid tribute to his fellow soldiers
A soldier has paid tribute to his comrades after being awarded one of the top medals for bravery after his company faced constant attack in Iraq.

Major Richard Head, from Upper Welland near Malvern, Worcs, has been given the Military Cross for courage under fire.

His unit, B company, 1st Battalion The Light Infantry, faced 170 attacks in 200 days while stationed in Basra.

The 38-year-old was described as "rock solid" under attack in the official citation for his award.

"The award is actually for gallantry and I certainly don't consider myself as particularly gallant. My girlfriend certainly doesn't think so.

"I do feel it was very much an award that was made as a figurehead of a small organisation."

Major Richard Head
Major Head's battalion faced constant attack

His unit faced constant attack and in one afternoon had to deal with the aftermath of a helicopter being downed with the loss of five British soldiers.

During his tour, a soldier in his battalion, Corporal Matthew Cornish, 29, was killed when their base was attacked.

"We lost a young corporal, Corporal Cornish who was from Yorkshire. He was the only fatality we had in the company," said Major Head.

"Clearly if I had the opportunity I would give back this Military Cross tomorrow if we could get him back."

The citation for his medal, which was awarded for gallantry and distinguished service in action, said no other sub-unit commander had faced such a stern test.

In addition to the Military Cross, Major Head's entire company received a special commendation for its work in Basra.


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