George Cross for teenage war hero

WAR heroes were honoured by the Queen yesterday for bravery in action against Iraq. Ninety-six military and civilian personnel were decorated at a Buckingham Palace investiture.

Among them was Trooper Christopher Finney, 19, who saved the life of a comrade while under "friendly fire". He is the youngest serviceman to receive the George Cross, the highest award for acts of conspicuous gallantry performed by men or women when not in the face of the enemy.

"I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know what was more nerve-racking - receiving this medal or when we were under fire," he said.

"The Queen said she was honoured to present me with the George Cross and that she hadn’t presented one for a long time."

Guests heard how Trooper Finney came under fire from US A-10 warplanes while in a Scimitar vehicle during a patrol. He escaped from the burning vehicle, but went back to rescue his trapped gunner. He then returned to the Scimitar to radio for help before trying to save another soldier despite being badly wounded.

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