Ministry of Defence
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Honoured for bravery and service on operations

Honoured for bravery and service on operations

MINISTRY OF DEFENCE News Release (174/2008) issued by The Government News Network on 25 July 2008

136 members of the Armed Forces are to be honoured on Friday 25th July for their gallantry and service in Afghanistan, Iraq and other operations around the world.

The honours for the period 31 Oct 07 to 31 Mar 08 include a George Cross awarded for the highest level of gallantry, 19 Military Crosses and 4 Distinguished Service Orders.

Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup said: "I am immensely proud of the courage, dedication and skill that the individuals being honoured today have shown in a wide variety of demanding circumstances. Their bravery and professionalism are in the highest tradition of the British military, and bring enormous credit to themselves, their individual Services and the nation as a whole."

Secretary of State for Defence Des Browne said:

"I am enormously grateful for the contribution made by all members of our Armed Forces, and the civilians who support them, in operational theatres around the world. They carry out their demanding and often dangerous duties - bringing peace and stability to some of the most dangerous places in the world - with skill, courage and professionalism. Today it gives me particular pleasure to offer my personal congratulations to the men and women who have been recognised publicly for their exceptionally brave and meritorious service on operations. I am very conscious that behind each of these awards lie acts of extraordinary dedication and courage and I am delighted that they have been recognised in this way."

Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher, of the Royal Marine Reserves, receives the George Cross for an act of extreme self sacrifice whilst on an operation in Helmand in March this year. His selfless decision to throw himself on a grenade saved the life of at least two members of his patrol and allowed for enemy forces to be interdicted later that night. Alongside the Victoria Cross, the George Cross is the nation's highest bravery honour and is awarded for 'acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger.'

Brigadier Andrew Mackay, Late The King's Own Scottish Borderers, receives a CBE for his command of 52 Brigade in southern Afghanistan as does his deputy commander Colonel Stuart Skeates MBE, Late Royal Regiment of Artillery, for his immeasurable contribution to the counter insurgency campaign in Helmand. Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Birrell of the Royal Marines receives a Distinguished Service Order for his leadership on the same operational tour.

Brigadier James Bashall, Late the Parachute Regiment, who commanded 1st Mechanised Brigade in Iraq last year, receives a CBE for his inspirational leadership. His period of command was a seminal phase for UK forces in Iraq as we moved from one of the most violent phases of the campaign to a complex period of reconciliation. A DSO is awarded to Colonel Patrick Sanders OBE, Late The Rifles, who commanded 4th Battalion The Rifles in Iraq throughout Op Telic 10; he exemplified tough and decisive yet compassionate leadership which kept his battle group going through very difficult times. Col Sanders commanded and planned operations in the most dangerous and complex situations taking the fight to insurgents on the streets of Basra. Displaying grip and tactical vision; he led from the front, often under fire; his operational leadership was exemplary.

There is a Royal Red Cross for Major Janet Pilgrim, of the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps, in recognition of her work in the hospital in Iraq during Telic 10. Maj Pilgrim led the hospital's team preparing bodies for repatriation; she personally provided continuity and support for her team and despite having others to call on she chose to convey any bad news herself. Also after a direct hit on the hospital from a 122 mm rocket Maj Pilgrim took swift and effective action restoring gaps in capability averting a potential disaster.

Sergeant Gary King, of the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps, will receive the Associate Royal Red Cross for his actions in calmly stabilising casualties whilst under fire and in delivering specialist training to the Iraqi police. Warrant Officer Stephen Strange RN as the senior diver for the search of the capsized oil rig support vessel, BOURBON DOLPHIN, showed exceptional leadership and bravery and is honoured with a Queens Gallantry Medal.

Nineteen Military Crosses have been awarded to service personnel for exceptional acts of bravery on operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Examples include Captain Paul Brittion, of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, who refused morphine when injured so he could remain in command of his fire support team during a fire fight against the Taliban. Major Jason Little, of The Yorkshire Regiment, who by the strength of his leadership and with huge personal courage coordinated Afghan and international forces in the newly retaken town of Delaram, and subsequently planned and led, as a mentor, a successful Afghan National Army operation to retake Golestan; and Lance Corporal Mohansingh Tangnami, of The Royal Gurkha Rifles, who volunteered to lead a small team into an area of heavy fire to recover a machine gun left by an earlier casualty and so deny it to the enemy.

Notes to Editors

1. The attached list of honours is provided under embargo. No details should appear in print or be broadcast before 0001 hrs 25 July 2008. The ranks and other personal details shown are those current at the time the awards were recommended.

2. For further information please contact visit the Ministry of Defence website at


Lance Corporal Mathew CROUCHER, Royal Marines Reserve


Brigadier Andrew Douglas MACKAY OBE, Late The King's Own Scottish Borderers

Colonel Stuart Richard SKEATES MBE, Late Royal Regiment of Artillery

Brigadier James Ian BASHALL OBE, Late The Parachute Regiment


Major Christopher James BELL, Scots Guards

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Jonathan Paul BOURNE MBE, The Royal Gurkha Rifles

Lieutenant Colonel Simon James DOWNEY MBE, The Yorkshire Regiment

Captain David DUTTON, Royal Navy

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew John Pooler BARR, Corps of Royal Engineers

Lieutenant Colonel Mark Peter KENYON MBE, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment

Lieutenant Colonel James Francis Pardoe SWIFT MBE, The Royal Welsh


Major Daniel James Edward CHEESMAN, Royal Marines

Major Mark Clement GIDLOW-JACKSON, The Rifles

Captain Richard Simon DOWNS, Royal Regiment of Artillery

Staff Sergeant Richard James FARNELL, Adjutant General's Corps (Royal Military Police)

Captain Jonathan Anthony Evett PALMER, Irish Guards

Major Zachary Raymond STENNING, The Yorkshire Regiment

Major Peter John BARLOW, Adjutant General's Corps (Educational and Training Services Branch), Territorial Army


Major Janet Mary PILGRIM ARRC, Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps


Sergeant Gary Anthony KING, Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps


Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Martin BIRRELL, Royal Marines

Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Nicholas Yardley Monrad SANDERS OBE, The Rifles


Marine Mkhuseli JONES, Royal Marines

Major Adrian MORLEY, Royal Marines

Marine Richard Reginald WITHERS, Royal Marines

Captain Paul Nathaniel Brenig BRITTON, Royal Regiment of Artillery

Acting Sergeant John Mathew COCKBURN, The Yorkshire Regiment

Rifleman Bhimbahadur GURUNG, The Royal Gurkha Rifles

Major Jason Alexis LITTLE, The Yorkshire Regiment

Major Paul Ralph Gareth PITCHFORK, The Royal Gurkha Rifles

Major Douglas Fraser REID, Royal Army Medical Corps

Major Ian David SCATTERGOOD, The Royal Logistic Corps

Corporal Richard Steven STREET, Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

Lance Corporal Mohansingh TANGNAMI, The Royal Gurkha Rifles

Lance Corporal Agnish THAPA, The Royal Gurkha Rifles


Lieutenant Commander Toby William EVERITT, Royal Navy

Lieutenant Nathan John GRAY, Royal Navy

Warrant Officer Class 2 David William LAYTON, Royal Marines

Major Duncan MANNING, Royal Marines

Marine Gary OGDEN, Royal Marines

Acting Major Matthew Bradley ADAMS, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment

Rifleman Omprakash ALE, The Royal Gurkha Rifles

Sergeant Christopher Edward BARTLETT, The Yorkshire Regiment

Sergeant David William BAXTER, Royal Regiment of Artillery

Acting Captain James Laurence CADBURY, The King's Royal Hussars

Lance Corporal Onur Benjamin CAGLAR, The Yorkshire Regiment

Warrant Officer Class 2 James Mackintosh FRASER, Royal Regiment of Artillery

Sergeant Nathan John HUNT, Corps of Royal Engineers.

Lieutenant John Alexander Edwin Elessing JEFFCOAT, The Royal Gurkha Rifles

Sergeant Lee JOHNSON, The Yorkshire Regiment (killed in action)

Acting Corporal Damian Stephen LAWRENCE, The Yorkshire Regiment (killed in action)

Sergeant James Charles LYNAS, The Yorkshire Regiment

Captain James Richard MANCHIP, Royal Regiment of Artillery

Major Mark Edward MILFORD, The Rifles

Major Anthony Brian PHILLIPS, Royal Regiment of Artillery

Private Malakai RAVOUVOU, The Yorkshire Regiment

Colonel Edward Alexander SMYTH-OSBOURNE, Late The Life Guards

Lance Corporal Tej Gang SUNWAR, Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Craftsman Samuel Michael TOMKINS, Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Private Andre Thomas TROUP, The Yorkshire Regiment

Trooper Jack Anthony WARBURTON, Royal Tank Regiment

Flight Lieutenant John Alan TIPPER, Royal Air Force

Lieutenant Simon John BEDFORD-SMITH, The Royal Welsh

Lieutenant Henry Guy BOMFORD, The Rifles

Serjeant Kevin Stuart Anthony GAHGAN, The Rifles

Private Joseph James ILLIDGE, The Royal Welsh

Rifleman Joseph Anthony IRVING, The Rifles

Major Christopher Stuart MACGREGOR, The King's Royal Hussars

Private Michael James Arthur NEW, The Mercian Regiment

Lance Sergeant Gavin Patrick O'NEILL, Irish Guards

Major Mark WILLIAMS, The Royal Welsh


Lance Corporal Simon Peter COOPER, Corps of Royal Engineers

Corporal Andrew Raymond GRIFFIN, Adjutant General's Corps (Royal Military Police)

Corporal Damion James MORPHY, Corps of Royal Engineers

Guardsman Paul John MCGEE, Scots Guards

Guardsman Ratu Isireli VULAIDAUSIGA, Scots Guards


Leading Seaman Survey Recorder Julia RYDER, Royal Navy

Major Guy BARTLE-JONES, Welsh Guards

Lieutenant Colonel Gregory COLE, Royal Regiment of Artillery

Captain John Andrew Charles DEE, Intelligence Corps

Lieutenant Alison Louise DRAY, The Royal Logistic Corps

Major James Patrick EYRE, Blues and Royals

Captain Devkumar GURUNG, The Queen's Gurkha Engineers

Major Sarah Helen HENDERSON-LEA MBE, Intelligence Corps

Major Paul Darren HOLDER, The Royal Logistic Corps

Lieutenant Colonel Neil Barry LEWIS, The Royal Logistic Corps

Major Gerald Mark STRICKLAND MBE, The Royal Gurkha Rifles

Lance Corporal James David TRIGG, Royal Corps of Signals

Lieutenant Colonel Richard WARDLAW, Corps of Royal Engineers

Wing Commander Robert Stephen NORRIS, Royal Air Force

Mohamed Faizul AZMAN, The Royal Welsh, Territorial Army

Major Tom Richardson COPINGER-SYMES, The Rifles

Major Timothy Emlyn GREY, Adjutant General's Corps (Educational and Training Services Branch)

The Reverend Daniel Francis HERNANDEZ, Chaplain to the Forces 3rd Class, Royal Army Chaplains' Department

Major Anthony Thomas LAMB, Royal Corps of Signals, Territorial Army

Major Jonathan William MCCLEERY, Royal Regiment of Artillery

Warrant Officer Class 1 Michael John PETERS, The Royal Logistic Corps

Sergeant Eric James MCCABE, Royal Air Force

Dr Paul COLLINSON, Grade C1, Ministry of Defence


Warrant Officer Class 1 Stephen Geoffrey STRANGE, Royal Navy.


Diver 1 John Kevin Arnie ANDERSON, Royal Navy . Leading Diver Stephane FARRELL, Royal Navy.


Sergeant Ryan Francis THOMAS, Royal Air Force.

Master Aircrewman Ian Paul HARRISON, Royal Air Force.

Flight Sergeant Alec Craig ASPDEN, Royal Air Force.