Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Thursday, 11 December 2008

Iraq conflict medic wins honour

Major Janet Pilgrim
Major Janet Pilgrim helped save the lives of soldiers in war-torn Iraq

An army medic who treated soldiers in Iraq is has been awarded a top nursing medal for her dedication.

Major Janet Pilgrim, from North Shields, North Tyneside, has won the Royal Red Cross for treating front-line soldiers injured during battle.

The 42-year-old commanded Basra's field hospital during some of the deadliest conflicts to hit the region between May and September 2007.

The Queen presented the award at Windsor Castle on Friday.

The medal's first recipient was Florence Nightingale for her work in the Crimean War.

Ms Pilgrim, who now lives in Aldershot, said: "It's a great honour, but there is no way the award is just for me. It is for everyone in my team.

"None of us had ever been so close to the frontline before. The hardest part was losing people."

During the time she ran the hospital in Basra, there were 411 admissions.

Staff treated 92 troops who were wounded in action, 31 of them with life-threatening injuries.

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