Bravery medals for Afghan canal rescue soldiers

Second Lt Connor Maxwell, Rifleman Daniel Nickson The two soldiers risked their lives in the rescue

Two soldiers who dived into a freezing canal to save a comrade injured by a Taliban bomb are to receive the Queen's Commendation for Bravery.

Second Lieutenant Connor Maxwell, 22, from Buckinghamshire, and Rifleman Daniel Nickson, 23, of Darlington, both served with 3rd Battalion the Rifles.

The Ministry of Defence has described their heroics for the first time.

Details of some of the other 131 medals in the Operational Awards List were released on Friday.

Most of the honours announced by the MoD, which are to be presented by senior royals at a later date, are going to soldiers from 11 Light Brigade - the UK's lead formation in Afghanistan.

Nine of the awards, for service between October 2009 and April this year, are to be given posthumously.

The Ministry of Defence said Lt Maxwell and Rifleman Nickson pulled the unconscious soldier from fast-flowing 3ft-deep water on 15 December last year, enabling him to receive medical treatment.

Rfn Nickson was praised for his "courage and selflessness" in risking his own life.

Lt Maxwell also saved the life of a serviceman who was wounded by an improvised explosive device while training on the firing ranges at Nato's Camp Bastion base in Helmand.

Details of two other awards have also been issued.

Acting Corporal Andrew Wardle, 22, of 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, receives the Military Cross for "selfless and repeated acts of exemplary gallantry in the face of the enemy".

Warrant Officer Class 2 Patrick Hyde, Acting Corporal Andrew Wardle WO2 Hyde and A/Cpl Wardle were recognised for their gallantry

On one occasion, he fought off a Taliban attack after suffering concussion when he was knocked to the ground by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Cpl Wardle, from Hetton-le-Hole, Sunderland, who was involved in mentoring Afghan soldiers, later ran 50m (160ft) across open ground to rescue an injured Afghan child.

Warrant Officer Class 2 Patrick Hyde, 34, of 4th Battalion the Rifles, is to receive a Mention in Despatches for "exemplary gallantry" during a six-month tour in Afghanistan.

The MoD said his vehicle was targeted six times by explosions.

WO2 Hyde, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, also oversaw the medical evacuation of 10 members of his company and four wounded Afghan children.

His citation described his "selfless commitment and bravery" in the face of continued attack as an "inspiration".

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