An army engineer based in Essex risked his life to help victims afteran Afghan minibus hit a roadside bomb and saved a child who lost a leg in the explosion. Sapper Ryan Pavey, 24, of 33 Engineer Regiment based at Carver Barracks near Saffron Walden has been awarded a Queen's Commendation for Bravery.

Sapper Pavey was searching for bombs near the infamous Route 611 when the civilian minibus hit an explosive device less than 100 metres away. Eighteen civilians were killed outright, the majority women and young children. Five others were critically injured including a four-year old boy.

Ryan immediately switched his focus to clearing a safe route to the survivors. As he reached the casualties he immediately started to give treatment, particularly to the four-year old boy whose leg had been amputated in the blast.

“Drawing on raw courage and resolve, Pavey led the team towards the survivors, constantly adjusting his assessment of the extraordinary real threat underfoot. This demanded nerves of steel, a cool head and clear focus. As the first responder, Pavey’s treatment was outstanding, stemming the bleed, reassuring the boy and extracting him to awaiting Afghan Police vehicle for evacuation; without doubt saving the boy’s life. Pavey’s conduct was extraordinary, placing himself in harm’s way to assist the badly wounded and traumatised survivors."