Medal awarded after tough tour
Gruelling eight-month spell for soldier
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