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British Para Corporal Bryan Budd Awarded the Victoria Cross

Corporal Bryan Budd (Photo courtesy of the MoD)

David Terron of The Cabarfeidh Pages (Highland Warriors) sends this link from the Ministry of Defense, Corporal Bryan Budd of 3 Para:

Corporal Bryan James Budd was born on 16 July 1977 and lived in Ripon, North Yorks with his wife Lorena and their two year old daughter Isabelle. Cpl Budd had been in the Army for 10 years, since December 1995. He enjoyed a distinguished career, enlisting into the Parachute Regiment then passing the rigorous selection process for 16 Air Assault Brigade’s Pathfinder Platoon, an elite unit specially trained for long range reconnaissance missions.

Whilst part of that platoon he served in many operational theatres including Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Macedonia, Afghanistan and Iraq. In May 2002 he passed his Section Commander’s Battle Course with distinction, and was on the cusp of promotion to Platoon Sergeant. He was a qualified Army Combat Survival Instructor, rock climber and freefall parachutist. In 2004 Cpl Budd was posted to the Army Foundation College in Harrogate where it was his responsibility to help train young future soldiers. He joined A Company, 3 PARA, in early June 2006 serving in Helmand Province...

Corporal Budd met his wife Lorena in the service.  She is a clerk with the Royal Artillery.  The Budds have a two year old daughter, Isabelle.  In July of 2006, Lorena was pregnant with their second daughter.

On July 27th, two Paras were shot by a Taliban ambush.  In order to give the medics cover and time to evacuate the wounded, Corporal Budd led an assault directly into their positions.  More from the MoD:

...On 27 July, whilst on a routine patrol, Corporal Bryan Budd's section identified and engaged two enemy gunmen on the roof of a building in the centre of Sangin. During the ensuing fierce fire-fight, two of Corporal Budd's section were hit. One was seriously injured and collapsed in the open ground, where he remained exposed to enemy fire, with rounds striking the ground around him. Corporal Budd realised that he needed to regain the initiative and that the enemy needed to be driven back so that the casualty could be evacuated.

"Under fire, he personally led the attack on the building where the enemy fire was heaviest, forcing the remaining fighters to flee across an open field where they were successfully engaged. This courageous and prompt action proved decisive in breaking the enemy and was undertaken at great personal risk. Corporal Budd's decisive leadership and conspicuous gallantry allowed his wounded colleague to be evacuated to safety where he subsequently received life-saving treatment."

Corporal Bryan Budd (Photo courtesy of the MoD)

By all accounts, this Para Corporal is a lion.   He charged the Taliban positions with grenades and his rifle, and saved two paratroopers. 

Fast forward one month to August 2oth:

"...Corporal Budd was leading his section on the right forward flank of a platoon clearance patrol near Sangin District Centre. Another section was advancing with a Land Rover fitted with a .50 calibre heavy machine gun on the patrol's left flank. Pushing through thick vegetation, Corporal Budd identified a number of enemy fighters 30 metres ahead. Undetected, and in an attempt to surprise and destroy the enemy, Corporal Budd, initiated a flanking manoeuvre. However, the enemy spotted the Land Rover on the left flank and the element of surprise was lost for the whole platoon.

"In order to regain the initiative, Corporal Budd decided to assault the enemy and ordered his men to follow him. As they moved forward the section came under a withering fire that incapacitated three of his men. The continued enemy fire and these losses forced the section to take cover. But, Corporal Budd continued the assault on his own, knowing full well the likely consequences of doing so without the close support of his remaining men. He was wounded but continued to move forward, attacking and killing the enemy as he rushed their position.

"Inspired by Corporal Budd's example, the rest of the platoon reorganised and pushed forward their attack, eliminating more of the enemy and eventually forcing their withdrawal. Corporal Budd subsequently died of his wounds, and when his body was later recovered it was found surrounded by three dead Taliban..."

Corporal Budd's actions saved seven Paras who were evacuated and survived.  Only one Para from Budd's original team was not wounded during their tour.

In September 2006, Imogen Budd was born.  Subsequently, Corporal Bryan Budd was awarded the Victoria Cross (as the highest award for honor and courage, it is equal to our Medal of Honor). 

Lorena Budd had this to say about Bryan, "The exceptional act of valour and the subsequent award of the Victoria Cross is representative of the sort of man Bryan was.  He was a proud and passionate Parachute Regiment soldier and he was someone who was prepared to make the very highest sacrifice to save the lives of others."

His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Tootal said, "Cpl Bryan Budd was an outstanding young man who had quickly risen through the ranks in the Regiment. Extremely popular, he had a calm and professional manner that inspired confidence in all that worked with him; a natural leader. Bryan died doing the job he loved, leading his men from the front, where he always was.

"Bryan was proud to call himself a Paratrooper and we were proud to stand beside him. One of the very best in all respects, he will be sadly missed by all his comrades in 3 PARA and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

A trust fund has been set up for Lorena, Isabelle and Imogen. To contribute, send to:

The Bryan Budd Memorial Fund
Flagstaff House, Colchester
Napier Road, Essex, CO2 7SW

Chuck Simmins at America's North Shore Journal has more from the Beeb and Telegraph.