A SOLDIER who went to the aid of casualties hit by one of the biggest bombs seen by British troops in Afghanistan has been honoured for his bravery.

Corporal Connor Grant was in the lead vehicle commanding a 2 Scots patrol in Helmand Province in 2013 when the rear vehicle was struck by a huge improvised explosive device.

The blast caused severe injuries to all nine occupants - with three later confirmed to have died, including one of Cpl Grant’s close friends.

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But despite the threat of further enemy strikes, the soldier treated casualties and helped to evacuate his injured comrades.

Senior officers later recorded that the bomb was one of the largest they had seen since operations began in Afghanistan in 2001.

For his actions the 25-year-old was presented with a Queen's Commendation for Bravery during a passing out parade at the Infantry Training Centre, in Catterick Garrison, where he is now an instructor.

His citation stated: “Cpl Grant’s courage and professionalism were instrumental in the rapid evacuation of nine serious casualties.

“His actions, including the treatment of the casualties were critical in preventing further deterioration of the survivors.

"His conduct epitomised the very best qualities of a junior non-commissioned officer in the British Army.”

A second soldier, Cpl Dennis Skinner, 27, was also honoured at the parade for new recruits on Friday with a Mention in Dispatches.

Cpl Skinner was given an award for his continued bravery during a number of dangerous incidents in Afghanistan.

During one incident, the soldier, who was serving with 1 Scots, showed disregard for his own personal safety by treating a casualty with severe injuries while under heavy enemy fire.

The Northern Echo:
Cpl Dennis Skinner, centre, shakes the hand of Brigadier Bob Bruce

His citation read: “On another occasion, during a search of a known enemy location, Cpl Skinner’s team came under sustained and accurate fire from an enemy machine gun position.

"Cpl Skinner again bravely took control of the situation and withdrew his team from the killing area in order to mount a counter attack.

“This withdraw required his team to move over 200m of open ground under fire. Despite the dangers of this Cpl Skinner ensured he was the last man on each bound ensuring the safe extraction of his men. “

The awards were presented by Brigadier Bob Bruce.