Medal awarded after tough tour

Gru­elling eight-month spell for sol­dier

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Zoe Drewett zoe.drewett@trin­i­tymir­

A SOL­DIER from Hayes was pre­sented with a medal by the Duke of York after a de­mand­ing eight­month of tour in Afghanistan.

Staff Sergeant Jamie Webb serves with the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s), a cavalry reg­i­ment of the Bri­tish Army that acts as a for­ma­tion re­con­nais­sance reg­i­ment and is cur­rently at­tached to 7th Ar­moured Bri­gade, the fa­mous Desert Rats.

He grew up in Hayes and went to Mel­low Lane School, now Hewens Col­lege, in Hewens Road, Hayes.

Sergeant Webb, who has been in the army for more than 18 years, said: “It was an hon­our to re­ceive my medal from the Duke of York and it was fan­tas­tic to see His Royal High­ness tak­ing the time to mix and speak with our fam­i­lies.”

He is now based with his reg­i­ment in Hohne, Ger­many, with his wife Vicky and chil­dren George, seven, and Si­enna, two, but Sgt Webb’s par­ents still live in the town he grew up in.

Dur­ing a unique pa­rade in Fre­toy, France, on Sun­day, Septem­ber 7, his Afghanistan cam­paign medal was pre­sented to him by the reg­i­ment’s Colonel-in-Chief, Prince An­drew.

The tim­ing of the cer­e­mony was fit­ting, ex­actly 100 years to the day the 9th Queen’s Lancers, a fore­bear of Sergeant Webb’s reg­i­ment, found it­self in the last ma­jor lance-on-lance ac­tion of the First World War, against the Ger­man 1st Garde Dragoner Reg­i­ment in Septem­ber 1914.

A re­mem­brance ser­vice for three 9th Queen’s Lancers buried in the vil­lage ceme­tery was held be­fore the sol­diers marched through Fre­toy in front of vil­lagers, friends and fam­ily.

At the ser­vice, the Duke of York said: “It is a great plea­sure to be here to­day to coin­cide with events that oc­curred 100 years ago.

“I for one want to thank you for your per­sonal com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion to the Crown, to thank you for the ser­vice you have made in Afghanistan.

“Con­grat­u­la­tions on a very, very well con­ducted tour of duty. It gives me great plea­sure to now present you with your Op­er­a­tional Ser­vice Medals.”

Mrs Webb said watch­ing her hus­band pre­sented with his medal was an ex­tremely proud mo­ment.

“I did get a lit­tle emo­tional when I saw Prince An­drew speak­ing with Jamie and I was de­lighted that I and our chil­dren had the op­por­tu­nity to talk with him as well,” she said.

Dur­ing his eight month tour, Sgt Webb was based at Camp Bas­tion to support Bri­tish-led Task Force Hel­mand as a ra­dio sys­tems Squadron Quar­ter­mas­ter Sergeant, in charge of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween 17 Army units.

n MEDALS: Staff Sergeant Jamie Webb with wife Vicky and chil­dren George and Si­enna

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