British soldier awarded Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for part in firefight

Lance corporal Simon Moloney was shot in neck and knocked off a roof but returned to act as a spotter in Afghanistan

A British soldier has been awarded a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for his part in a firefight in Afghanistan last year in which he returned to his post in spite of having been shot in the neck.

Lance corporal Simon Moloney was knocked off a roof by the force of the shot but returned to act as a spotter for an hour and a half, directing fire at insurgent positions.

The ministry of defence said that without his presence “it is likely that his troop would have sustained multiple casualties”. He is one of 117 awards for gallantry and meritorious service in the operational honours list published on Friday.

Moloney, of the Household Cavalry regiment, was part of a helicopter-borne operation with the Afghan army that landed in darkness in an insurgent stronghold, the MoD said. They broke into a compound at first light, coming under fire. Moloney was sent to the roof to keep watch as the soldiers moved onto another target.

“Not long into the attack, Moloney suffered a gunshot wound to the neck which missed his vital arteries and voicebox by millimetres, but the force of which threw him off the roof,” the MoD said. After first aid, he returned to the roof, providing vital information, until ordered to seek medical attention.

Other awards from Afghanistan include the Distinguished Flying Cross to RAF flight lieutenant Charlie Lockyear and master aircrew Bob Sunderland who was mentioned in dispatches. The two succeeded in picking up evacuated troops in spite of damage to the helicopter from heavy fire and Sunderland being wounded by shrapnel.

In the UK, Royal Navy chief petty officer Neil Halsey is awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery for boarding a sinking tug off the coast of Torbay amid fears that more than 200 tonnes of diesel might flow in the direction of the town if the boat broke up.

He “repeatedly immersed himself in a pitch-black, unfamiliar engine room with oily water up to his shoulders and only a torch to guide him in a bid to find the source of the leak,” block it and activate the pumps, the MoD said. © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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