Soldier, hit with shrapnel, refuses morphine to continue leading men in battle

In the finest tradition of the British Army, a captain REFUSED pain-killing morphine after being hit by shrapnel so that he could continue to lead men into battle. The Royal Anglians were involved in a battle against the Taliban and Captain David Hicks later died of his wounds.

Meanwhile, two more British soldiers in Afghanistan were injured yesterday, both from the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment. The death rate of British soldiers (a one in 36 chance of being killed) in Afghanistan now outstrips that of any war the British have been involved in since World War II. It also outstrips the death rate of the US Army in the Vietnam War.

Army mourns hero captain who refused to abandon his troops in fightback against Taliban

15th August 2007
Daily Mail

Pride of the British Army: Captain David Hicks was killed on Saturday in Afghanistan's Helmand region

A mortally wounded British officer refused treatment so he could continue to lead his besieged troops against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In excruciating pain from the shrapnel wounds that would later kill him, Captain David Hicks was supposed to be evacuated to safety.

But the 26-year-old refused to abandon his men and ordered them to let him return to his post, even refusing pain-killing morphine to keep his mind clear for the rearguard action against a Taliban rocket attack.

Last night Army colleagues saluted the heroism of the officer, whose death takes to 70 the number of British service personnel killed in Afghanistan since November 2001.

Captain Hicks's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Carver, said: "It is typical of him that he had led from the forward position during the attack on his Company, in order best to direct the battle and provide an inspiring example to his men.

"Even after being mortally wounded, his only concern was to get back into position to control the fight.

"Highly professional with a genuine concern for his soldiers, he typified the highest standards of leadership and commanded genuine respect from all who served with him."

Captain Rob Smit, 27, added: "The way he died is typical of his character. All of us would like to live by the example he set. He was one of the good guys.

"I only hope that his parents can find some comfort in the fact that he died doing something that he wanted to do."

Captain Hicks's C "Essex" Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, was at a frontline patrol base tower near Sangin in Helmand when the Taliban sprang their ambush on Saturday.

Six soldiers, including the officer, were injured in the ensuining blitz of rockets, mortars and small arms fire.

A Chinook helicopter was called in to evacuate the wounded but Captain Hicks returned to the fray. He was later pronounced dead at the British Hospital in Camp Bastion.

Hours earlier, the officer, from Wokingham, Berkshire, had been writing a eulogy for one of his men killed the day before, Private Tony Rawson.

A veteran of Iraq and Bosnia, Captain Hicks had been planning to leave the Army in May and buy a home in Surrey with his girlfriend, Nicola Billen, who described him as "kind-hearted and fun-loving - a true gentleman".

The dead soldier's parents also paid tribute to their son's self-sacrifice and valour.

Alun and Lesley Hicks said their son, who studied at Oundle School and University College London before joining the Army, was "a young, professional officer doing a difficult job in extremely challenging circumstances".

In a statement, they said: "It was a job he wanted to do and he was under no illusions about the dangers he faced.

"He was totally committed both to his role and his fellow soldiers and he fervently believed that he was contributing to building a better world."

Details of the officer's heroic last hours came as two more British soldiers were injured yesterday, one seriously, in a Taliban ambush deep inside Helmand's notorious "Green Zone".

The men, in a platoon from B Company-1 st Battalion the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment, were attacked by Taliban fighters who had been hiding in a cornfield.

Such incidents have done nothing to dispel fears that the fatality rate among British service personnel in Afghanistan could outstrip that suffered by UK forces in the Second World War.

Eight Britons have been killed in the country since the beginning of July.

Recent figures show Britain's frontline troops in Afghanistan have a one in 36 chance of dying a six-month tour of the country, compared with one in 100 during a tour of Iraq.

Defence Secretary Des Browne said this week that a "long-term commitment" was essential to prevent it once more becoming a training ground for terrorists.

Mr Browne called Captain Hicks's death "tragic", adding: "The loss of such a dedicated and talented officer is truly sad and I would like to express my sincere condolences to his family.

"My thoughts are also with the men of the men of the Royal Anglians whom Captain Hicks led so courageously in battle."
Minority Observer84
Nobody ever mentions the dead afghan Civilians
Yes, they do, over and over again.

Half a dozen threads on here. But thats a nice lie, anymore to tell?
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