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Soldiers honoured at Sandhurst

Soldiers from across the country, including the North East, are being honoured at today's Operational Honours and awards at Sandhurst.

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Middlesbrough soldier honoured for river rescue

A soldier from Middlesbrough who took off his helmet and body armour to carry an injured colleague on his back across a river to safety is recognised for his bravery in today's Operational Honours.

Private Lewis Murphy, of the Yorkshire Regiment, has been awarded the Queen's Commendation for Bravery, given for bravery entailing risk to life.

During his tour in Afghanistan last year, the 24-year-old was part of a team tasked with finding four insurgents who had abducted an Afghan police officer.

They followed them across the Helmand River into difficult terrain, only to come under fire from insurgents with machine guns.

Two soldiers were hit, one in the neck, while another had a lucky escape when a bullet hit his body armour.

The soldier who had been shot in the head was critically injured, but the nearest place he could be airlifted from was a sandbank 20 metres away across a deep river, running above chest height.

Realising that carrying a stretcher was not practical, Private Murphy took off his own body armour and helmet and put his colleague - who was still wearing more than 100kg of equipment - on his back and started to wade across the river.

He struggled halfway across, due to the sheer effort of crossing the deep water, and others rushed to help - with the team managing to get the casualty to the helicopter.

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