Trooper Tom Thorne, aged 20, from the Queen’s Royal Hussars, was shot in the side by an enemy fighter while on operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
The 7.62mm bullet, which was fired from an AK-47 assault rifle, struck Trooper Thorne in one of the side plates of his body armour. The plate stopped the round completely, leaving the soldier with only a light bruise underneath.
Trooper Thorne explained:
I was providing overwatch for an IED clearance team and was lying on the roof of a compound building. We came under fire but obviously cover was pretty limited up on the roof.
I knew instantly that I’d been hit - it felt like a very hard punch in the ribs,” he continued.
The body armour is pretty heavy, especially when combined with all the other kit you are carrying, but it clearly works as it’s supposed to.
I just couldn’t believe that the small side plate could stop a 7.62mm bullet at fairly close range - it is very reassuring for all of us.
C Company of the Queen’s Royal Hussars were taking part in Operation ZAMARY TAKHTA, an IED clearance operation in a hostile region of the Lashkar Gah area, when the incident occurred.