Afghan hero’s rescue award

Acting Major Adrian Clayton, based at Weeton, of the 2nd Battalion The Duke Of Lancaster's Regiment.
Acting Major Adrian Clayton, based at Weeton, of the 2nd Battalion The Duke Of Lancaster's Regiment.
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A Fylde coast soldier who twice risked his life to save injured colleagues in Afghanistan has been commended by senior officers.

Acting Major Adrian Clayton, based at Weeton, received a Mention in Despatches, the oldest form of recognition for gallantry in the armed forces.

He received the honour for repeatedly putting his life on the line on active duty with the 2nd Battalion The Duke Of Lancaster’s Regiment.

On May 1 last year, Acting Mjr Clayton crossed enemy lines to rescue Afghan casualties under heavy fire.

He said: “My vehicle went forward to pick the casualties up, and we were with them for 40 minutes while we tried to win the firefight and secure the area.

“We then called in a helicopter and flew them out for treatment.”

On July 22, while in the heart of one of the most dangerous areas in Helmand, an explosion killed an Afghan medic and two soldiers.

Again, Acting Mjr Clayton helped to safely evacuate Afghan troops.

He is also credited with helping avert an imminent insider attack later that summer, after receiving intelligence of the plot.

His citation states: “Clayton has displayed the utmost composure and valour to ensure success in the ANA’s first summer fighting season in the lead.

“His courage and leadership are far beyond that which can be reasonably expected of any advisor, let alone an Acting Major.”

Acting Mjr Clayton said: “I am very proud to have been awarded a Mention in Dispatches, but everything that I was able to achieve in Afghanistan was achieved as part of a team.

“I was very lucky to command a very brave and professional team full of soldiers from the North West, who despite the losses that the Battalion has suffered, are prepared to return to places like Helmand and put themselves in harm’s way for the benefit of others.”

Since 2009, 11 soldiers of The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment have been killed in Afghanistan.

Five of them served with the 1st Battalion and six with 2nd Battalion.

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