Scottish soldier gets Danish award for his courage

Warrant Officer Andy Peat lays a wreath at the Danish wall of remembrance after receiving his bravery award. Picture: PA

Warrant Officer Andy Peat lays a wreath at the Danish wall of remembrance after receiving his bravery award. Picture: PA

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A SCOTTISH soldier who risked his life to try to save an injured Danish comrade in Afghanistan has been honoured by Denmark for his “extraordinary” courage.

Explosives expert Andy Peat, of 33 EOD Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, is the first soldier outside the Danish military to receive the Anders Lassen Award.

Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) Peat, from Edinburgh, was supporting a Danish patrol in January when the group was blasted by an improvised explosive device (IED).

They were moving into a compound used for manufacturing IEDs in the Upper Gereshk Valley when one of the bombs triggered on the roof, severely injuring Oversergeant (WO1) Rene Brink Jakobsen.

As he went to his aid, WO1 Peat noticed another IED lying underneath the Danish soldier and skilfully disarmed the device by locating and cutting its wires.

While colleagues struggled to stretcher the Dane off the 14ft roof, he lay across the path of another IED, using himself and his body armour as a shield to protect the rescuers.

WO1 Brink Jakobsen later died of his wounds, leaving behind a wife and three children. WO1 Peat is credited with saving the lives of several other Danish soldiers and members of the Afghan police that day.

At a ceremony at the Royal Danish Military College, in Copenhagen, he received the framed award from Crown Prince Frederik and donated the £3,000 award to his late colleague’s wife, Camilla Brink Jakobsen, and children, Sara, Maja and Thor.

He said of the honour: “I was slightly taken aback when I had the call to say I’d been awarded it – it’s slightly surreal.”

The serviceman paid tribute to his own wife and said of his attempt to save WO1 Jakobsen that “all the guys would have done the same thing”.

He said: “To bring my wife and daughter along has been fantastic. I knew when my wife heard about what I’d done I’d be mostly in trouble. She deserves the rewards as she has to stay up at home at night worrying all the time.

“I’d probably say that wives and girlfriends have the worst jobs because they always think we’re doing stuff when sometimes we’re just sitting around drinking coffee.”

Mrs Brink Jakobsen said: “I really appreciate what he did.”

The Anders Lassen Foundation is in memory of a soldier awarded three Military Crosses and the Victoria Cross, posthumously, for his exploits in the Second World War.

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