OUR BRAVES; EXCLUSIVE CREDIT CRUNCH? YEAH IT'S TOUGH, BUT SPARE A THOUGHT FOR THESE HUSBANDS & SONS. FIGHTING A WAR IN OUR NAME... FIVE HUMBLING TALES OF HEROISM FROM OUR TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN Heroes Who Put Lives on Line to Save Comrades

Sunday Mirror (London, England), May 18, 2008 | Go to article overview

OUR BRAVES; EXCLUSIVE CREDIT CRUNCH? YEAH IT'S TOUGH, BUT SPARE A THOUGHT FOR THESE HUSBANDS & SONS. FIGHTING A WAR IN OUR NAME... FIVE HUMBLING TALES OF HEROISM FROM OUR TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN Heroes Who Put Lives on Line to Save Comrades


Byline: By RUPERT HAMER Defence Correspondent

SOME come back without their limbs. Some return with memories they want to forget, but never will...

All were part of 52 Brigade, who have just returned from fighting in Afghanistan.

Royal Marine Mark Ormrod, 24, from Plymouth, is lucky to be alive after losing his legs and one arm in a landmine blast, while the five in our picture above risked their lives to save their comrades.

Sgt Chris Bartlett, 36, from the Isle of Wight, dodged a hail of bullets to reach the crew of an oil tanker which exploded after an ambush on the way to Kandahar.

Sgt Spencer Cooper, 34, a father of two from Stockton-on-Tees, also ran through a hail of Taliban fire to resupply a platoon in danger of being overrun in Sangin as they ran out of ammunition.

Lance Corporal Onur Caglar, 23, of Scarborough, North Yorks, risked being kidnapped, as he dashed through Sangin on his own to save an Afghan interpreter's life.

Corporal Carl Peterson, 28, also of Scarborough, sprinted through a wall of fire to reach two cut-off soldiers.

L/Cpl Stuart Hendy, 25, of Darlington, married with a two-year-old daughter, saved the life of an Afghan soldier whose heart had stopped three times after an ambush at Musa Qala.

Here in their own words are their stories...

Sgt Chris Bartlett

I HEARD this huge explosion as a fuel tanker was hit, then tracer fire from the Taliban lit up the sky.

I knew there would be wounded and I decided to go in. One of our vehicles gave me cover as I ran towards the burning tanker.

The heat was intense and I realised it had been hit by a rocket propelled grenade, not a mine as I thought.

I got inside and looked for the soldiers, but found no one.

Rounds were still coming in as I crawled around the tanker and spotted two guys.

They'd managed to get out of the tanker in time and had taken cover.

Luckily they only had minor injuries and I got them into the back of a vehicle.

Tracer fire lit up sky as I went in

Sgt Spencer Cooper

IT was like a scene from Saving Private Ryan with bullets snapping around our heads.

But the platoon 100m ahead of us were taking the most fire and running short of ammunition. And without ammo they'd be overrun.

I threw a smoke grenade to give me cover and then ran into no-man's land with 500 rounds of 7.62mm and some 66mm mortar rounds.

Bullets were whizzing inches away from me. I ran 20m and threw myself in to a ditch and crawled along to reach the forward group.

At the time you don't think about your own life, you just get on with the job. …

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OUR BRAVES; EXCLUSIVE CREDIT CRUNCH? YEAH IT'S TOUGH, BUT SPARE A THOUGHT FOR THESE HUSBANDS & SONS. FIGHTING A WAR IN OUR NAME... FIVE HUMBLING TALES OF HEROISM FROM OUR TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN Heroes Who Put Lives on Line to Save Comrades
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