Lincoln soldier receives bravery award

A soldier from Lincoln has been awarded a Mention in Despatches bravery award for his work in Afghanistan, alongside 131 other soldiers serving in the country.

Corporal Steven Martin (31) (pictured) showed “boldness, initiative and raw courage” during his time served in the Upper Gereshk Valley.

The Mention in Despatches is the oldest form of recognition within the UK Armed Forces, and is reserved for gallantry during active operations.

Martin joined the Army in 1998, is married to Sophie, and they have a six-month-old son James. His parents Melvin and Sue live in Lincoln.

He was part of the 4th Battalion, The Rifles, which was deployed in support of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) clearance operation in late 2009.

IED came under sustained fire at close range, and Martin moved his men to relative safety behind a low wall.

He then broke from his cover to throw a hand grenade at the enemy firing position, before he returned fire with his rifle, while in full enemy view.

Martin’s courageous actions held the enemy at bay whilst air support was coordinated to attack and defeat them.

His citation states: “Even when the vehicle he commanded was destroyed in an explosion, Martin’s contribution to the delivery of success in the Upper Gereshk Valley has been profound.

“He is a quite outstanding junior non-commissioned officer whose dedication, courage and selfless commitment are an inspiration to all around him.”

Martin said he is very proud and honoured to be recognised for this award.

“It may have been my name put forward for it, but this award is for everybody I served alongside,” he added.

Nick Thornton, Commanding Officer 4th Battalion The Rifles, referring to seven of his men, including Martin, who received the awards said:

“We are all incredibly proud of the courage shown by all members of ‘A’ Company in Sangin, and these awards highlight their extraordinary achievements.”

Source, Photo: MOD