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Sussex soldier who rescued comrade gets Military Cross

Corporal James Bedford is decorated with the Military Cross by the Prince of Wales
Image caption Cpl James Bedford was commanding a search team which was attacked

A Kent-based soldier from West Sussex who risked his life rescuing an injured comrade in Afghanistan has been honoured by Buckingham Palace.

Corporal James Bedford placed his body between two casualties and incoming enemy fire during a gun battle in Helmand province on 10 June 2010.

The 29-year-old from Littlehampton received his Military Cross from Prince Charles on Wednesday.

Cpl Bedford "saved life whilst risking his own", according to the citation.

He was commanding a six-man Royal Engineer search team when they were fired upon and two of his men were injured.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said Cpl Bedford, who is based at the Royal School of Military Engineering in Chatham, ran towards the casualties in full view of the enemy and without covering fire.

'Determined enemy'

He administered "life-saving first aid" to the most seriously injured soldier and directed others to help the second casualty.

One bullet hit the equipment on Cpl Bedford's back and another narrowly missed his head before he carried the stricken soldier to safety.

The team had been serving with the counter-improvised explosive device task force in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of central Helmand when the incident took place.

His citation reads: "He demonstrated clear thinking and exceptional leadership under accurate fire from a determined enemy, thereby ensuring the recovery of his exposed team members."

Speaking after receiving the Military Cross, Cpl Bedford said: "I'm obviously very honoured to have received this award but it's got to be recognised that all the guys and girls out there are doing the same thing every day.

"It's a dangerous job."

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