Outstanding Military Bravery - Finalists
Awarded to former military personnel for outstanding bravery in the service of their country.
After losing the sight in his left eye when an Afghan soldier stepped on an IED, soldier Les rediscovered his love of climbing to help him adjust to normal life.
In 2016 he abandoned an attempt to climb Everest just 500 metres from the summit to help another climber. Sunita Hazra was suffering from hypothermia and frost bite. Les gave her his spare oxygen bottle and helped her make the descent, saving her life in the process.
During World War II Johnnie piloted Wellington bombers with 150 Squadron. With the odds against surviving even one tour, he completed 30 operations and went on to do a second tour of 40 operations flying the Mosquito as part of the elite Pathfinder.
He clocked up more than 2,000 flying hours and walked away from three crashes, a remarkable feat given that only 41% of Bomber Command aircrew survived being killed, seriously wounded or becoming a Prisoner of War. Still flying at the age of 96, Johnnie is the UK’s second oldest pilot.
Kim, a senior bomb disposal officer, was leading a route-clearing operation in Afghanistan when two devices tripped, leading to deaths of three people and injuring five others.
Shunning safety equipment to save time, Kim carried out multiple manual neutralisations of the IEDs just metres from the injured soldiers. After clearing a path to safety, Kim and his team continued to search for IEDs. Locating 2 more, he set about clearing them as well. Kim became only the 74th living recipient to receive the George Cross for his bravery, which was recognised as “the single most outstanding act of explosive ordnance disposal ever recorded in Afghanistan”
World War II airman Tony was captured by German troops when his Wellington bomber was shot down and spent two years in prisoner of war camps in Germany, Russia and Poland.
As part of the Long March in 1945, Tony and 30,000 Allied POWs marched across Poland and Germany for three months during a hard winter. Seizing his chance to escape, Tony walked for five days until he reached British troops on the front line.