View Full Version : U.K. George Cross Matthew Croucher

07-20-2009, 02:02 PM
Earning the George Cross

Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher GC (born 1984)

Croucher was recommended for the award for throwing himself on a Taliban booby-trapped grenade to save his comrades. He was part of a reconnaissance mission near Sangin in Helmand Province in Afghanistan on 11 February 2008. Moving through a compound at night he felt a trip-wire against his leg and saw that he had activated a grenade. He threw himself to the ground, and used his rucksack to pin the grenade to the floor, and tucked his legs up to his body. He was thrown some distance by the explosion, but due to the protection offered by his rucksack and body-armour, suffered only a nose-bleed and some disorientation. The pack was ripped from his back by the explosion, and his body armour and helmet were pitted by grenade fragments. Of the other three members of his patrol, the rear man managed to take cover by retreating round the corner of a building; the patrol commander threw himself to ground, and received a superficial face wound from a grenade fragment; and the final team member did not have time to react, and remained on his feet, and would have been within the lethal range of the grenade but for Croucher's action. The explosion breached a large lithium battery which was in Croucher's pack to power the patrol's electronic countermeasures equipment, causing it to burst into flames. A medic recommended that he be evacuated, but he insisted on continuing as the members of the patrol realised that Taliban fighters would probably come to investigate the explosion, and this would give the marines the opportunity to ambush them.

Croucher was initially put forward for the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest decoration for valour in the British Armed Forces. Had he been awarded the Victoria Cross he would have been the first Royal Marine to receive the award since 1945 and only the second living British recipient in the twenty-first century. The George Cross is awarded for the same level of bravery expected of a VC but is awarded when no enemy is present. Croucher is one of only 21 living recipients of the medal of which only 404 have been awarded.

Croucher was presented with the GC by Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace on 30 October 2008

07-30-2009, 09:27 PM
Throws himself on a grenade then refuses to be casevac'ed. Balls o Steel BOS

07-31-2009, 04:29 PM
This is an impressive story, he hit the news headlines here in the UK. I think it says a lot for the body armour and helmets we have if they managed to stop all the frag.

08-01-2009, 01:56 AM

08-01-2009, 01:56 AM