News story

Gallantry award for soldier who rescued wounded comrade

A soldier who risked his life in Afghanistan to rescue a wounded comrade during a ferocious ambush has been awarded a Mention in Despatches.

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Lance Corporal Adam Jackson, 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh [Picture: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC, Crown copyright]
Lance Corporal Adam Jackson, 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh

Lance Corporal Adam Jackson, aged 22, from 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, was just 300 metres away from his checkpoint in Nahr-e Saraj when the 14 men in his patrol were ambushed from 6 enemy positions.

A bullet struck the fourth man in the patrol, leaving him badly injured and unable to move. From less than 100 metres away, the enemy positions increased their attack using small arms and grenades to target the patrol and the stricken soldier.

As the rest of the men returned fire and tried to conceal their injured comrade by throwing smoke grenades, Lance Corporal Jackson sprinted across open ground to usher a local civilian to safety and then to his colleague who lay injured in the road.

He said:

Because of my position, there was no one else who could have got him out of there but me.

Despite the smoke, the insurgents continued to target the fallen man and Lance Corporal Jackson. Bullets whizzed past him and struck the road around his feet as he ran.

Reaching the casualty he began the task of dragging the incapacitated soldier, who weighed in excess of 130 kilograms with all his body armour and equipment, to safety so lifesaving first aid could be given.

Lance Corporal Jackson said:

After dragging him back, I was on the point of blacking out and so I had to deliver the first aid by instruction.

Without the guys on patrol, and their level of training, it would have been impossible. I wouldn’t have been able to give treatment; I was out of it.

A heavy machine gun was then called forward to stop the enemy attack and allow the casualty to be rescued.

Lance Corporal Jackson, from Llanharan, South Wales, said:

This was my mate and my emotions were driving me; it never occurred to me that I was putting myself in danger.

The only way I can describe why I did it is this: if it was someone in your family who got hurt, you would go out of your way to stop that happening and help them. The only way I could do that was going out there to get him.

Lance Corporal Jackson, who is based in Chester, joined the Army in 2007 and was on his second tour of Afghanistan.

His citation concludes:

He demonstrated courage, professionalism and leadership of the highest order and there is no greater demonstration of selfless commitment than to recover a wounded comrade under fire.

Jackson has demonstrated levels of performance and commitment to which we should all aspire.

The Mention in Despatches is one of the oldest forms of recognition for gallantry within the UK Armed Forces. Since 1993 the Mention in Despatches has been reserved for gallantry during active operations.

Published 9 April 2013