Scotland

Scots soldiers honoured for Afghan bravery

L/Cpl Tasker and Theo
Image caption L/Cpl Tasker died alongside his dog Theo while on patrol in Afghanistan

An army dog handler from Fife who died along with his record-breaking spaniel in Afghanistan has been given a posthumous award for his bravery.

L/Cpl Liam Tasker, from the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, received a Mention In Despatches, the oldest recognition of gallantry in the Armed Forces.

He was shot by insurgents while on patrol with his specialist arms and explosives search dog, Theo.

He is one of 140 soldiers on the latest Operational Honours list.

The list includes awards for Scots who rescued injured soldiers while under fire, and charged enemy positions.

Ardrossan soldier Sgt Glen Gardiner, of the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, received the Military Cross for running through enemy fire to try to save the life of an Afghan National Army soldier who had been critically wounded.

The 35-year-old said it was a normal part of life as a soldier in Afghanistan, and the day of the incident "wasn't different to any other day".

He said: "People say you must have the adrenalin going, however it was just a normal day."

The soldier, who was blown off his feet by enemy fire in a separate incident, added: "It's a job. There's set standards, there's set drills that you put in place, and those set drills and standards save lives."

Life-saving heroics

Skye Army Officer, Captain Iain Curren also received a Military Cross. The 29-year-old, of The Royal Highland Fusiliers, commanded an infantry platoon in an extremely dangerous area, and charged an enemy ambush twice to rescue an injured soldier.

A Mention In Despatches was awarded to Port Glasgow soldier Cpl Scott Cox, for his life-saving heroics charging a Taliban machine-gun post while serving in Afghanistan.

He said: "My team and I were conducting traditional dismounted infantry operations on a daily basis and that is exactly the reason that I joined the Army and specifically the Infantry."

Fife soldier, Warrant Officer Class 2 Iain Martin received a Queen's Commendation for Bravery for his work defusing Improvised Explosive Devices.

A Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service was awarded to officers including: Glasgow Army Officer Lt Col Dougald Graham, Fife Army Officer Maj Nick Wight-Boycott, and Edinburgh Army Officer Maj Piers Strudwick.

A Peebles soldier is also to receive a Mention in Despatches.

Lt James MacDonald of the third Battalion The Parachute Regiment put himself in the firing line to identify a Taliban sharpshooter earlier this year - before leading a team to neutralise the threat.

The awards are for actions approximately during the period from 1 October 2010 to 31 March 2011.

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