Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Royal Marine Reservist To Receive The George Cross

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Royal Marine Reservist To Receive The George Cross

    Lance Corporal Matt Croucher looks slightly uncomfortable to be hailed as a hero,
    as he listens to his citation for the George Cross awarded for his outstanding bravery.

    It is a medal awarded only rarely, for 'acts of the most conspicuous courage
    in circumstances of extreme danger'. And the 24-year-old Royal Marine reservist's
    actions were exactly that.

    Split Second Decision

    On February 9th this year, while in Helmand Province with 40 Commando Royal
    Marines, his Commando reconnaissance force was sent out to investigate a
    Taliban compound where they suspected bombs were being made.

    Mission accomplished, they were walking out when Lance Corporal Croucher felt
    himself walk into a tripwire. The booby trap pulled the pin out of a grenade.

    He told me that what happened next was instinctive.

    ' I saw the grenade land in front of me, so I had a split second decision to
    decide what to do. I had a quick look around and there was nowhere to take
    cover. I knew there was two lads who were directly behind me and a third
    further back than that,' he says.

    'A grenade's usually got a 5m killing circumference.

    'So I thought, I'm going to get seriously injured whatever I do so I might
    as well jump in front of the grenade and at least try and save the rest of
    the lads from getting seriously injured or killed themselves.
    So I lay in front of the grenade.'

    I ask what was going through his mind as he did so.


    Being awarded the George Cross is a huge honour, for me and for 40 Commando.
    But there are so many acts of bravery by the lads that don't make it into the press.
    It's all part of the job - they would have done the same. You just do it






    Lance Corporal Matt Croucher




    'When I was lying there, I had that same feeling in your stomach you have when
    you're a small child and you've done something really naughty and you know
    you are going to get into lots of trouble for it.

    'So I lay there just gritting my teeth, waiting for the explosion to go off.'

    It went off but - remarkably - he was virtually unscathed, while his colleagues
    were shielded by him and his backpack from the worst of the blast, leaving only
    one of them with minor injuries.

    'He acted to save his comrades in the almost certain knowledge that he
    would not himself survive,' said the Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal
    Sir Jock Stirrup as he announced the honour.

    'His exemplary behaviour and supreme heroism are fully deserving of
    the nation's highest recognition.'




    L/Cpl Matthew Croucher with his backpack, torn by the grenade

    Lance Corporal Croucher still has the rucksack that took the main
    impact of the blast - a tattered green daysack shredded by the grenade
    as it helped save his and his comrades' lives.

    His helmet is only slightly peppered by shrapnel. He himself suffered severe
    bruising but no lasting injuries - and his citation makes clear that immediately
    after the incident he refused to be evacuated for medical care but insisted on
    carrying straight on with the next mission, taking on the Taleban in a fire-fight
    and killing one of the enemy.

    He clearly is in the best tradition of British military heroes: uncomfortable
    with the limelight, preferring to play down his heroism.

    He served as a regular Royal Marine for five years, including two tours of Iraq
    - the first during the invasion of 2003. So he is accustomed to combat, and
    loath to boast of his achievements, though he admits:

    'Being awarded the George Cross is a huge honour, for me and for
    40 Commando. But there are so many acts of bravery by the lads that don't
    make it into the press. It's all part of the job - they would have done the same.
    You just do it.'

    Proud Parents

    His parents were unaware of what had happened until their son sent them a text.

    Standing proudly next to him as he held up his citation for the cameras,
    his mother Margaret says she remembers well the day she heard.

    'I got a text saying he was back at Camp Bastion (from his forward
    operating base), so I knew something had happened.

    'The next text from him said there had been an incident. And the third that
    he might be put up for a medal and meet the Queen and could I believe it?
    I texted back to say: 'Knowing your antics, yes.''

    She and his father Richard smile. They say it wasn't his first brush with
    death, remembering a fall from a wall 30ft up which their son survived several
    years before, along with numerous close calls during fire-fights.

    They are hoping he will make it to collect his medal from Buckingham
    Palace later this year without further incident.

    Though that is not guaranteed. These days, Lance Corporal Croucher is
    working as a director of a security company, Pinnacle Risk Management,
    which provides close protection for its clients.

    It is now no secret that he would be a good man to have at your side
    in a tricky situation.

    © www.bbc.co.uk
    Last edited by Truck Driver; 5 August 2008, 08:11.
    "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"

  • #2
    Shouldn't the thread title read "Royal Navy Reservist"?
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Come-quickly View Post
      Shouldn't the thread title read "Royal Navy Reservist"?
      I suppose, technically, you are correct........
      "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"

      Comment


      • #4
        Thread title edited (the man himself would probably punch you for implying that he's in the Royal Navy rather than the Royal Marines)

        Comment


        • #5
          Lucky guy and well deserved.

          Sadly for the recipient before him, a leg was lost!.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Barry View Post
            Thread title edited (the man himself would probably punch you for implying that he's in the Royal Navy rather than the Royal Marines)
            Did he tell you this over dinner?

            Also when being pedantic one should ideally strive for the officially correct title of "Royal Marine Commando" since the above mentioned Mne is presumably not in the band.
            Last edited by Come-quickly; 4 August 2008, 20:46.
            "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

            Comment


            • #7
              Fair dues to him.

              He is an example to all.


              Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

              Comment


              • #8
                The man is a Royal Marine reservist, however, I would imagine that the words "Royal Navy" are very prominently written on the top of his ID card.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Barry View Post
                  Thread title edited (the man himself would probably punch you for implying that he's in the Royal Navy rather than the Royal Marines)
                  Ta - seeing as I couldn't edit the thread title.

                  A mate sent me that on e-mail the other day....

                  I got an education in the British awards system yesterday.

                  I was thinking that the George Cross was a civvy award and that
                  L/Cpl Croucher was being short changed, until I was "re educated" by a
                  Welsh colleague (ex TA) that the GC has equivalent ranking to the VC.

                  So well done again that man.

                  And I think that he's earned a well deserved break from another callup
                  for a while to come
                  "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rooster View Post
                    The man is a Royal Marine reservist, however, I would imagine that the words "Royal Navy" are very prominently written on the top of his ID card.
                    The only difference on a Royal Marines ID card is it displays an Army Rank.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      is the George Cross = to the Victoria Cross

                      Thought VC was the highest award ever?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The GC and VC hold equal esteem, the only difference is that the VC is for action "in the face of the enemy" (though there have been VCs awarded for clearing minefields etc). In the event that someone is awarded both the VC and GC, the VC is the "senior" award (ie it would be worn to the left of the GC as an observer looks at it), but in all other ways the two are equal.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Barry View Post
                          The GC and VC hold equal esteem, the only difference is that the VC is for action "in the face of the enemy" (though there have been VCs awarded for clearing minefields etc). In the event that someone is awarded both the VC and GC, the VC is the "senior" award (ie it would be worn to the left of the GC as an observer looks at it), but in all other ways the two are equal.
                          Correct - that's the way my Welsh colleague explained it to me too.

                          Not dissimilar to the criteria for award of the MMG versus the DSM over here
                          "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Barry View Post
                            The GC and VC hold equal esteem, the only difference is that the VC is for action "in the face of the enemy" (though there have been VCs awarded for clearing minefields etc). In the event that someone is awarded both the VC and GC, the VC is the "senior" award (ie it would be worn to the left of the GC as an observer looks at it), but in all other ways the two are equal.
                            In addendum to that it also takes precedence in your post nominals (Uk and commenwealth) it is the senior one.

                            i.e

                            Sir Johny Englishman VC GC OBE PhD etc etc
                            Lifes a bitch, so be her pimp!

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X