England

Blinded Kent soldier Rfn Paul Jacobs receives medal

Rfn Jacobs awarded the George Medal
Image caption Rfn Jacobs was awarded the George Medal for bravery

A Kent soldier blinded by a Taliban bomb in Afghanistan has collected the George Medal for bravery.

Rifleman Paul Jacobs, 21, from Ramsgate, received his medal from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

He was accompanied by his fiance Louise Smith, whom he met while a patient at Selly Oak Hospital, where she worked as a healthcare assistant.

Rfn Jacobs, from 2nd Battalion The Rifles, said he was donating his medal to his colleagues.

He said: "The medal is obviously for me but I've given it to the battalion. It means a lot to me, but it means more to them.

"It is for everyone out there and everyone we have lost. They won't be forgotten."

Rfn Jacobs is undergoing rehabilitation in West Sussex at St Dunstan's Centre - a charity which provides support for visually impaired ex-servicemen.

The soldier, who continued to protect his colleagues after he was wounded, said he did not think he had done anything special.

He said: "We all do what we can out there. I don't think anyone else is braver than anyone else out there."

Several serving soldiers were recognised including Gunner Steven Gadsby and Lance Bombardier Gary Prout, of the Royal Artillery, who were both awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.

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