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Suffolk war hero and Military Cross winner puts collection up for sale

PUBLISHED: 08:00 05 March 2016

Trevor Coult who is auctioning off his army medals and memorabilia.

Trevor Coult who is auctioning off his army medals and memorabilia.

A Suffolk war hero decorated for astonishing bravery in Afghanistan and Iraq is putting his medals and militaria up for sale - so he can banish the terrible memories of battle.

Trevor Coult meeting The QueenTrevor Coult meeting The Queen

Ex-Colour Sergeant Trevor Coult’s remarkable collection is due to be auctioned for a catalogue price of £35,000 to £40,000 at Lockdales in Martlesham on March 19.

The former ex-Royal Irish Regiment soldier, who lives in the Suffolk Coastal area, now battles post traumatic stress disorder.

The proceeds from the auction will be set aside for his five-year-old son Sebastian’s future.

Mr Coult said he, and many of those he served with, have been deeply affected by what they had been through: “Every day is such a struggle for me.

Trevor Coult's Military CrossTrevor Coult's Military Cross

“Over the past few years I’ve lost six ex-colleagues who have taken their own lives.

“You constantly analyse your actions.

“I can always remember the guys to my left and right. It’s always on my mind. Maybe I didn’t take the right shot which meant someone next to me died.

“You have that many explosions and things that happen to you.

“When I walk down the street now and a car backfires I duck down.

“It can be overwhelming. If I’m going somewhere, the day beforehand I will go round and analyse where the exits are and the surroundings, and that’s how I cope with things.”

The 41-year-old’s heroism has seen him meet The Queen, and former American President George W Bush at the White House in Washington to receive the President’s USA Medallion.

Belfast-born Mr Coult was awarded the coveted Military Cross (MC) in 2006 for bravery during a machine gun ambush in 2005 involving suicide bombers.

The MC is the military’s third highest honour, behind the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross and the Victoria Cross.

Mr Coult said: “Suffering as I do, having the medals brings back bad memories for me.

“I hope they go to someone who appreciates them more than I do.

“It has not been an easy decision to get rid of these things, but I feel like they are a weight around my neck. I’m glad they are going. It’s a way of clearing things out of my head.”

The lot includes eight other medals, pictures, badges, maps, diaries and a copy of the soldier from Belfast’s book, ‘First into Sangin.’

Mr Coult’s former commanding officer, Lt Colonel Michael McGovern, described him as being: “An outstanding young man of courage.”

Mr Coult was a member of the UK Protection Force based in Baghdad. He was hand-picked for ‘Operation Mountain Thrust.’

This British Ranger, nicknamed ‘Speedie’, and his squad re-took the town of Sangin.

He said he first felt the symptoms of PTSD in 2005, but it was not diagnosed until 2009.

Towards the end of his career he went to Afghanistan to “look after” captured insurgents, mainly Taliban.

Mr Coult said: “I spent every day with these people and couldn’t help wondering how many of my colleagues they had killed. I must admit it got to me a bit.”

Mr Coult served in the Army from 1994 to 2015. He went on ten operational tours and took part in 100 engagements.

Lockdales auction manager James Sadler said: “We are honoured to have been given the duty of selling Trevor’s militaria. He showed such courage and professionalism without regard for his own safety.”

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