A SOLDIER who died alongside his dog in Afghanistan is to be honoured for his bravery.
Lance Corporal Liam Tasker posthumously received a Mention in Despatches as the most successful Arms Explosive Search Dog Handler in Afghanistan since operations began.
Liam, who was 26 when he died, served with The Royal Veterinary Corps and demonstrated incredible courage working with his dog Theo to make a total of 14 separate significant finds. On March 1, 2011 he was shot and killed in action while performing his duties as a Dog Handler.
His beloved dog Theo died just hours later after suffering a seizure.
The award was just one announced in the Operational Honours List today (fri).
Captain Iain Curren from Skye received a Military Cross for extraordinary courage and leadership. The 29-year-old charged an enemy ambush twice to rescue an injured soldier, and so breaking the vice-like grip of the Taliban on an Afghan community.
Captain Curren, of The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 SCOTS) commanded an infantry platoon in an extremely dangerous area.
He said: “I feel humbled and delighted to receive this honour. My overwhelming feeling during and following the tour was how privileged I have been to lead ‘Jocks’ on operations.
“To see so many bear huge sacrifices and continue to display that good humour and fighting spirit for which Scottish soldiers are famous was reward enough. This award is a direct result of the qualities of the soldiers that I was lucky enough to lead.”
Private Bryan Johnson, 24, of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (5 SCOTS) received the Military Cross for rescuing a wounded soldier while under fire in Afghanistan.
Ardrossan soldier, Sergeant Glen Gardiner, 35, of the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment received the Military Cross for running through enemy fire to try to save the life of an Afghan National Army soldier who had been critically wounded.
Port Glasgow Soldier, Corporal Scott Cox, 38, of The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment Of Scotland (2 SCOTS) received a Mention in Despatches for his life-saving heroics charging a Taliban machine-gun post whilst serving in Afghanistan.
Scott said: “I am really happy and surprised to be given this award. On Op HERRICK 13 my team and I were conducting traditional dismounted infantry operations on a daily basis and that is exactly the reason that I joined the Army and specifically the Infantry. The ‘Jocks’ as always were superb and it was a real privilege to work with and lead such fantastic Scottish soldiers.”
Ayrshire Army Officer, Major Derek Hendry, 45, of the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment received the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS) for his innovative procedures and his management of logistics while serving in Afghanistan
The latest operational honours and awards list included 140 personnel. The awards are for actions roughly during the period from October 1st 2010 to March 31st 2011.
- Lieutenant Colonel Dougald Graham received a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QVCS).
- Warrant Officer Class 2 Iain Martin received a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery (QCB).
- Lance Corporal Craig Sloan received a Mention in Despatches for chasing away an Afghan insurgent on foot.
- Major Nick Wight-Boycott received the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS).
- Colour Sergeant Callum Muir received a Mention in Despatches (MiD) for charging an enemy position and transforming an area of Afghanistan previously under firm insurgent control.
- Major Piers Strudwick received the Queens’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS).