British soldier honoured by Denmark

Explosives expert Andy Peat receives award from Crown Prince Frederik for risking his life to try to save an injured Danish comrade in Afghanistan

A British soldier who risked his life to try to save an injured Danish comrade in Afghanistan has been honoured by Denmark for his “extraordinary” courage.

Explosives expert Andy Peat, of 33 EOD [explosive ordnance disposal] Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, is the first soldier outside the Danish military to receive the Anders Lassen Foundation Award from Crown Prince Frederik.

Warrant Officer Class One Peat, from Edinburgh, was supporting a Danish patrol in January when the group was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED).

They were moving into a compound used for manufacturing IEDs in the Upper Gereshk Valley, Helmand Province, when one of the bombs exploded on the roof, severely injuring Oversergeant René Brink Jakobsen.

As he went to his aid, Peat noticed another IED lying underneath the Danish soldier and worked skillfully to disarm the device by locating and cutting its wires.

While colleagues struggled to stretcher the Dane off the 14ft (4m) roof, Peat lay across the path of another IED, using himself and his body armour as a shield to protect the rescuers.

Brink Jakobsen later died of his wounds, leaving behind a wife and three children.

Peat is credited with saving the lives of several other Danish soldiers and members of the Afghan police that day.

The Anders Lassen Foundation was established in memory of a highly decorated soldier who was awarded three Military Crosses and posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his exploits in the second world war. Each year the foundation chooses a single recipient for its honour and cash award, and this year selected Peat for his “extraordinary courage and determined actions”.

At a ceremony on Tuesday at the Royal Danish Army Academy in Copenhagen, he received the award and donated the 25,000 krone (£2,900) to Brink Jakobsen’s widow, Camilla, and children, Sara, Maja and Thor.

He said of the honour: “I was slightly taken aback when I had the phone call to say I’d been awarded it – it’s slightly surreal. Meeting the crown prince has been a great experience.”

The serviceman paid tribute to his own wife following the ceremony and said of his attempt to save Brink Jakobsen that “all the guys would have done the same thing”.

He said of the ceremony: “To bring my wife and daughter along has been fantastic. My wife deserves the rewards as she has to stay up at home at night worrying all the time.

“I’d probably say wives and girlfriends have the worst jobs because they always think we’re doing stuff when sometimes we’re just sitting around drinking coffee.

“To be honest, it’s just about doing your job and thinking about what you’ve got in front of you and trying your best to get out of that predicament as quickly as possible.”

Mrs Brink Jakobsen said: “I was quite overwhelmed that he wanted to give the money to our family.

Lieutenant Colonel Claus Wannen, head of the Danish Special Forces, said: “Warrant …read more