Plaque unveiled for brave bomb squad soldier

Staff Sergeant Kim Hughes
Staff Sergeant Kim Hughes Photo: Johnny Green/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A bomb squad soldier whose actions have been praised as the 'single most outstanding act of explosive ordnance disposal ever recorded in Afghanistan' will be honoured at his former school today.

A plaque will be unveiled at Thomas Telford School in Shropshire in honour of Staff Sergeant Kim Hughes.

"The single most outstanding act of explosive ordnance disposal ever recorded in Afghanistan"

– MOD citation

Staff Sergeant Kim Hughes from the Royal Logistic Corps was awarded the George Cross in 2010 for his bravery and expertise in Helmand Province in 2009. He diffused devices by hand to clear a path to rescue injured soldiers, all wounded from previous explosions, and without wearing any protective clothing - to save time.

He received his award along with the widow of Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid who died in 2009 whilst dealing with an IED.

The George Cross is one of the nation's highest awards for courage. Sir Jock Stirrup has described the George Cross as:

"One of our top two operational honours, the George Cross is awarded only rarely; its recipients must have displayed the very highest levels of gallantry."

– Sir Jock Stirrup

"The actions of Staff Sergeant Hughes and the late Staff Sergeant Schmid meet this most demanding test in full measure.

Their selfless commitment, unswerving devotion to duty and unsurpassed courage are both awe-inspiring and humbling. The nation will rightly take enormous pride in their service; it owes them and their families an enormous debt of gratitude."

– Sir Jock Stirrup

The plaque is intended to inspire current students at Thomas Telford School.