"The very definition of selflessness and gallantry"
Corporal Bryan Budd
Budd was a member of the 16 Air Assault Brigade's Pathfinder Platoon, an elite unit trained for long range reconnaissance missions, and had served in Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Macedonia, and Iraq. In early June 2006, he joined A Company of 3 PARA serving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Afghanistan's Taliban regime, well-known for oppressing women, murdering opponents, and attacking gays, gave refuge to Al Qaeda, and was consequently held accountable for 9-11. Western allies, including the United States and Britain, swept the Taliban from power, and a new government was democratically elected. Troubles have not ended, however, as Taliban terrorists, war lords, and opium poppy trafficking make a lethal brew.
. . .On 27 July, whilst on a routine patrol, Corporal Bryan Budd's section identified and engaged two enemy gunmen on the roof of a building in the centre of Sangin. During the ensuing fierce fire-fight, two of Corporal Budd's section were hit. One was seriously injured and collapsed in the open ground, where he remained exposed to enemy fire, with rounds striking the ground around him. Corporal Budd realised that he needed to regain the initiative and that the enemy needed to be driven back so that the casualty could be evacuated.
"Under fire, he personally led the attack on the building where the enemy fire was heaviest, forcing the remaining fighters to flee across an open field where they were successfully engaged. This courageous and prompt action proved decisive in breaking the enemy and was undertaken at great personal risk. Corporal Budd's decisive leadership and conspicuous gallantry allowed his wounded colleague to be evacuated to safety where he subsequently received life-saving treatment."
In a second engagement in August 2006, while attempting to defend his men from attack, Corporal Budd lost his life.
"Corporal Budd's conspicuous gallantry during these two engagements saved the lives of many of his colleagues. He acted in the full knowledge that the rest of his men had either been struck down or had been forced to go to ground. His determination to press home a single-handed assault against a superior enemy force despite his wounds stands out as a premeditated act of inspirational leadership and supreme valour. In recognition of this, Corporal Budd was awarded the Victoria Cross."
Corporal Budd left behind his wife and two small daughters, Isabelle and Imogen. His wife, Lorena Budd (centre), a soldier in the Adjutant General's Corps, has received the Victoria Cross awarded to her husband. She said, "Tragically, acting in the highest traditions of the Parachute Regiment, he made the ultimate sacrifice by laying down his life".