An heroic soldier from Shropshire, who led a bayonet charge over 90 yards of open ground in Afghanistan under a hail of enemy fire, was today awarded the Military Cross for his bravery.
Corporal Sean Jones’s split-second decision ‘completely turned the tide’ of the battle around the Taliban stronghold of Babaji.
The 25-year-old father-of-two, from Tern Hill, near Market Drayton, forced the Taliban to retreat in complete disarray through ‘unflinching courage and extraordinary leadership’, his citation said.
Cpl Jones, who serves with 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Regiment, based in Germany, said today: “I don’t know how we managed to get out alive.
“The rounds were so close you could see them striking the dirt in front of you. It was like something out of a film.” Cpl Jones was second-in-command of the patrol, which was trying to draw out insurgents who were intimidating villagers in Kakaran last October.
As Cpl Jones’s patrol moved through an open field, it came under heavy small-arms fire. After firing a rocket at one of the insurgent positions, Cpl Jones ordered three of his men to fix bayonets.
The troops then stormed across 80 metres of open ground raked by enemy fire.
His citation reads: “In an engagement that lasted 29 minutes and which saw heavy and sustained insurgent fire throughout, Jones demonstrated unflinching courage and extraordinary leadership in the face of extreme and tangible danger.”
Today’s announcement comes with the release of the latest operational honours and awards list, which names 106 personnel on Operation HERRICK 15.
Cpl Jones is one of just seven Military Cross recipients on the list.
Read more in today's Shropshire Star