A young soldier, who carried out a fingertip search for Taliban bombs, to rescue injured comrades from a heavily mined alley in southern Afghanistan, has been awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.
Private Daniel Hellings Queen's Gallantry Medal. Mercian Regiment.
19-year-old Private Daniel Hellings was on patrol with Afghan soldiers in Helmand province, in September last year, when a bomb went off in the 10-foot wide alleyway in a village near their base. The initial blast injured 2 of his colleagues and a 3rd when a further IED was detonated only yards from where Private Hellings was stood.
Pte Hellings was ordered to withdraw from the alley by his commander, but realised there was no time to find an alternative route to recover the casualties and volunteered to return to the task. Hellings then continued to clear the ground towards his injured colleagues in order to give life-saving first aid and help evacuate them.
His citation stated that he demonstrated a level of courage and ability far beyond that which could be expected of his years, rank and experience.