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Hero solider who risked life to disarm bombs is nominated for bravery award

By Mat Growcott | Telford | News | Published:

A hero soldier who risked his life to disarm seven bombs while on patrol in Afghanistan has been nominated for a bravery award.

Kim Hughes in 2009, during his time in Afghanistan

Kim Hughes, who grew up in Telford and today lives in London, was leading a route-clearing operation in Sangin, Afghanistan, in 2009, when two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) tripped, leading to the deaths of three soldiers and injuring five others.

During the casualty evacuation, a further five devices were located. Shunning safety equipment to save time, Kim carried out multiple manual neutralisations of the IEDs just metres from the injured soldiers. Any mistake would have been instantly fatal.

After clearing a path to safety through the minefield for others, Kim and his team continued to search for IEDs. Locating two more, he set about clearing them as well.

Kim, who safely disarmed 120 IEDs during his tour of Afghanistan, was awarded the George Cross, and his bravery was recognised as “the single most outstanding act of explosive ordnance disposal ever recorded in Afghanistan”.

He became only the 74th living recipient to receive the George Cross when he was presented with the medal at Buckingham Palace in 2010.

The Warrant Officer Class 1 said he was delighted to be nominated for the Amplifon Outstanding Military Bravery award.

He said: “It’s always nice to be recognised for things we do, especially as the nomination came from a member of the public.

“I’m really honoured but it was a massive team effort, I was just doing my job as any soldier would do.” He joins fellow Salopian nominee Johnnie Trotman, in the awards. Johnnie the second oldest pilot to be flying in the UK, who won the Distinguished Flying Cross twice during the Second World War.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Army and Navy Club in London on Tuesday next week. A panel of judges will choose an overall winner of the Charles Holland Award from the category winners, who will win a trip to Italy.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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