Former soldier from Kent to sell Military Cross

Image caption, Mr Copping received the Military Cross honour at Buckingham Palace in 2007

A former soldier from Kent is selling the medals he received for bravery in Iraq to help provide for his family.

Ryan Copping, 25, hopes to raise more than £20,000 by selling his Military Cross and an Iraq theatre of war medal.

He received the Military Cross at Buckingham Palace in 2007 after putting his life in peril for the sake of his team in Basra a year earlier.

Mr Copping, formerly of 1st Battalion, the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, said he wanted a "happier life".

Rocket-propelled grenade

The former private said: "I don't look at them and see pound notes, but if I don't sell them, they will just pass down through my family and some day, somebody else will sell them.

"So I thought I may as well benefit from them. I have a daughter from a previous relationship to look after and bills to pay and I just want us to have a happier life."

Mr Copping, who lives in Folkestone, was the driver of an armoured vehicle which came under intense small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire.

With the crew struggling to identify the enemy, he opened his driver's hatch, stuck his head out and began steering through streets strewn with obstacles.

The medals will be auctioned at Sotheby's in central London in a sale conducted by London-based coins and medals specialists Morton & Eden on 30 November.

Also included with the lot are 11 original photographs, newspaper cuttings and photocopies of congratulatory letters from senior military personnel and the mayor of his home town.

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