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Soldiers honoured for battle heroism

PUBLISHED: 09:52 12 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:07 07 July 2010

Oliver Ruecker, left, and Levi Ashby with their Military Crosses.

Oliver Ruecker, left, and Levi Ashby with their Military Crosses.

Two Norfolk soldiers, one of them from Mundford, received bravery medals yesterday in recognition of their heroism in Afghanistan.

L/Cpl Oliver “Teddy” Ruecker, and L/Cpl Levi Ashby, of Wells, each collected the Military Cross from the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.

Two Norfolk soldiers, one of them from Mundford, received bravery medals yesterday in recognition of their heroism in Afghanistan.

L/Cpl Oliver “Teddy” Ruecker, and L/Cpl Levi Ashby, of Wells, each collected the Military Cross from the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.

Both men took part in heavy fighting during the 1st Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment's tour of duty in Helmand province.

L/Cpl Ruecker, 21 from Mundford, rescued his injured comrade Cpl Dean Bailey from a burning vehicle under intense enemy fire after his patrol came under ambush.

With vehicles burning around him L/Cpl Ruecker fled the scene, only to come face-to-face with a Taliban fighter in an alley.

He shot the fighter dead with his pistol, before realising that Cpl Bailey was unconscious in the burning vehicle and returning to pull his friend to safety, seconds before the vehicle exploded in a fireball.

L/Cpl Ashby, 22, received his medal for his actions during a rocket-propelled grenade attack that left five of his comrades seriously wounded.

He took control of his section, and despite being a relatively young NCO, his actions were regarded as decisive in beating a determined enemy and in rescuing and saving the lives of his injured comrades.

L/Cpl Ashby, a former pupil of Alderman Peel High School, Wells, found himself on open ground and put down covering fire while the casualties were evacuated from the scene.

Last month two other Royal Anglians, Cpl Robert “Billy” Moore and Major Dominic Biddick, received the Military Cross for their actions in Afghansistan.

Capt David Hicks, who was killed in battle last August, was also posthumously honoured with the MC. His medal was collected by his parents Alun and Leslie, and his girlfriend Nicola Billen.

Lt Col Stuart Carver, who commanded the 1st Battalion during the Helmand tour, was awarded the Distinguished Service Order

Also honoured at yesterday's investiture ceremony were British fashion designer Karen Millen and former England cricketer Rachael Heyhoe Flint. Both received the OBE.

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