A SOLDIER from Bournemouth who risked his life to save a comrade in Afghanistan has received the Military Cross.
Lance Corporal Liam McNulty, who serves with 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, left cover to save an Afghan soldier who had been shot in the hand during his second tour in the country in 2011.
Also on that same tour, based near Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province, the 25-year-old exposed himself to enemy fire to fetch ammunition for his section, who were pinned down in cover, so they could make their escape.
The medal, one of the country’s highest awards for bravery, was presented to LCpl McNulty by Prince Charles at an investiture ceremony in Buckingham Palace.
“We had been working with the Afghan National Army for four months then, mentoring them, and we had all got quite a good friendship going,” he said.
“We were all there fighting together and I would do the same for any soldier. He was completely out in the open, shot in the hand, so I just ran out, grabbed him and dragged him back into cover.
“At the time you don’t really think about it, the adrenaline is flowing and you aren’t too bothered, but when it is all over you sit down and think, and it is quite an experience realising how risky it was.”
Thanks to LCpl McNulty’s actions and prompt medical care the Afghan soldier was back on duty just a month later, with praise for his rescuer.
In the second incident he ran some 400 yards across open ground to fetch ammunition from a vehicle, so his section could cover their escape from a ditch.
“You are there with your friends, you don’t really think of the dangers,” he said.
LCpl McNulty, along with two other Military Cross recipients, was put up at The Ritz on the night before the investiture, which he attended with his mum Alison and dad Trevor Rolands.
He joined the Army in February 2009 having wanted to sign up since he left Portchester School in Boscombe.
His grandfather, Ted McNulty, who lives in Queen’s Park, said: “He did a lot of good things out there and saved a lot of lives. I’m very proud of him, as are the rest of his family.
“He says it is just what you do when you are out there, but I’m glad he has got the recognition he deserves. I couldn’t do it.”