Soldier gets Danish bravery award
Andy Peat is awarded a citation from Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark for his heroic action in Afghanistan (Corporal Andy Reddy RLC/MoD/Crow/PA)
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 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, is the first soldier outside the Danish military to receive the Anders Lassen Award from Crown Prince Frederik.
Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) Peat, from Edinburgh, was supporting a Danish patrol in January when the group was blasted by an improvised explosive device (IED). They were moving into a compound used for manufacturing IEDs in the Upper Gereshk Valley when one of the bombs triggered on the roof, severely injuring Oversergeant (WO1) Rene Brink Jakobsen.
As he went to his aid, WO1 Peat noticed another IED lying underneath the Danish soldier and worked skilfully to disarm the device by locating and cutting its wires. While colleagues struggled to stretcher the Dane off the 14ft (4m) roof, he lay across the path of another IED, using himself and his body armour as a shield to protect the rescuers.
WO1 Brink Jakobsen later died of his wounds, leaving behind a wife and three children. WO1 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 was 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 WO1 Peat for his "extraordinary courage and determined actions".
At a ceremony at the Royal Danish Military College in Copenhagen, he received the framed award and donated the 25,000 Krone (about £3,000) to his late colleague's wife, Camilla Brink Jakobsen, 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."
Mrs Brink Jakobsen said: "I was quite overwhelmed that he wanted to give the money to our family. I really appreciate what he did in Afghanistan and I'm very grateful that he would think of us in this way.
"We talked a little bit about what happened, with Rene's Danish colleagues too, and with Andy, and I was a little prepared about who I was going to meet today, but it is overwhelming. It's been very emotional. Rene was a guy who spread joy everywhere he went and he wanted everyone to be comfortable. He was a very good soldier and good at his work."