Colchester: Medic mentioned in despatches for heroic actions
PUBLISHED: 09:32 22 March 2013 | UPDATED: 09:32 22 March 2013
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A MEDIC who risked his life to save four wounded men while under intense enemy fire has been awarded a Mention in Despatches.
Corporal Daniel Rudge, a Combat Medical Technician Class One, was on a joint patrol with the Afghan Uniformed Police (AUP) in the Pupalzay area of Lashkar Gah when they came under fire from two positions.
Seven insurgents were firing automatic weapons, small arms and rocket propelled grenades at the patrol from 500 metres away.
As the soldiers took cover, a member of the AUP was shot twice.
Cpl Rudge, 29, who serves with Colchester-based 16 Medical Regiment, stayed with the injured man throughout the 70-minute battle.
As the soldiers started to withdraw, a third enemy position opened fire and forced them to move across open ground when Cpl Rudge’s commander was shot.
Cpl Rudge put himself in the firing line to reach his commander and give him life-saving first aid.
He put the injured commander on a stretcher and remained by his side as he was carried 600m across open ground to the emergency casualty helicopter before returning to the AUP.
Cpl Rudge, originally from Portsmouth, said: “When you are in that type of situation, you are pretty aware of the danger.
“When my Company Commander was hit the bullets landed two metres in front of me and ricocheted off the ground before hitting him.
“When it happened my priority was to establish what his injuries were. They were extremely life-threatening as the bullet had hit several internal organs before exiting his body.
“Thankfully he made a full recovery although I haven’t seen him since I handed him over to the evacuation team.” The patrol was soon struck again when one of the Afghans stepped on an IED resulting in three casualties, two of them serious.
He treated one of the policemen who had lost his right foot, an eye and had horrific facial injuries and another officer who suffered facial wounds in the explosion.
Cpl Rudge’s citation in the Mention in Despatches said: “In the most testing of environments, Rudge ignored the substantial danger caused by enemy fire and demonstrated unfaltering professionalism and dedication to duty of the highest order.
“His repeated acts of bravery, disregard for his own safety and skilful competence directly contributed to saving the lives of four men on the battlefield.”
The Mention in Despatches is one of the oldest forms of recognition for gallantry within the Armed Forces.