Posthumous honour for soldier killed in Afghanistan

Corporal Lee Brownson
Image caption Corporal Lee Brownson had volunteered to lead a night patrol when he was killed

A County Durham soldier killed in Afghanistan is to be honoured posthumously for his heroism.

Corporal Lee Brownson, of Bishop Auckland, was fatally injured while on foot patrol in Helmand province on 15 January.

Cpl Brownson, of the 3rd Battalion The Rifles, was due to become a father for the third time.

His widow, Leeanne, will receive a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross on his behalf at Buckingham Palace later.

Cpl Brownson's company commander Major Tim Harris described him as "brimming with energy, cheer, modesty and resourcefulness", and an "outstandingly brave" man.

During the inquest it emerged he had volunteered to lead a night patrol, which was aimed at preventing the Taliban from planting improvised explosive devices, and reducing their ability to intimidate the local population.

Rifleman Luke Farmer, 19, from Pontefract, West Yorkshire, died in the same explosion.

Leeanne Brownson, who has since given birth to a son, also named Lee, described the announcement of her husband's posthumous honour as a "bittersweet" moment.

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