1. ITV Report

Killed soldier awarded rare Victoria Cross honour

Lance Corporal James Ashworth showed 'extraordinary courage' in Afghanistan. Photo: ITV News

A British soldier who died as he protected the lives of his comrades in Afghanistan has been awarded the Victoria Cross.

Lance Corporal James Ashworth, who was 23 when he died last June, has received the medal in recognition of his "extraordinary courage" while serving with the 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards in Helmand Province last year.

"It dioesn't make it easier, but it does make you feel that it wasn't for nothing," his family said.

The Victoria Cross, the UK's highest award for gallantry, has been awarded just 10 times to British soldiers since the Second World War.

The posthumous award to L/Cpl Ashworth is just the second awarded to a soldier in the 12-year conflict.

The 23-year-old soldier from Kettering in Northamptonshire was killed in the Nahr-e-Siraj district of Afghanistan.

Mum Kerry Ashworth, dad Duane Ashworth and brother and serving soldier Coran Ashworth. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

L/Cpl Ashworth is understood to have deliberately exposed himself to enemy fire, when his reconnaissance platoon became involved in a battle with the Taliban inside enemy held compounds.

"All he thought about was others, so I do take comfort in that," said his mother.

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