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NEWS IN BRIEF

NEWS IN BRIEF

EUROPE

07 Mar 08. Gallantry medals for Scots troops. A Scottish soldier is to receive the second highest award for gallantry for his actions in Afghanistan. L/Cpl Donald Campbell from South Uist drove a tractor into an enemy zone while under fire to shore up a ditch, allowing his colleagues to cross. He will be awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for his bravery. Lance Bombardier Michael Frew, from Dundee, will also be honoured with a Military Cross after saving the lives of his fellow troops in Afghanistan. The 26-year-old father-of-two sprinted across a bridge, which the Army described as a “killing zone,” to take on the enemy and allow his team to pass. L/Cpl Campbell, 26, from the Royal Engineers said: “I was very shocked and very surprised at the award and still am. “I come from the island of South Uist and when I phoned my mum, I don’t think she really knew what it was about. “I was driving a front-loader, a big civilian tractor with a load of fascines in the bucket and I drove forward under fire to the ditch, but before I could unload, I had to jump out and cut the bindings, the Taliban were shooting, then I had to get back under cover. “At the time I knew that it was something that had to be done and I just thought that it was a good idea.” Michael Frew ran across a bridge to hold the enemy backLance Bombardier Frew said he was shocked when he heard about the award but was looking forward to receiving it from the Queen later in the year. “I had no idea why the Commanding Officer had called me in,” he said. “I was very surprised and was not expecting it. “My parents were really chuffed when I told them about the award, they said well done. My wife Victoria was really pleased as well.” Bombardier Paul Greenwood, who is a colleague of Lance Bombardier Frew in the Highland Gunners, will also be receiving a Military Cross. He ran through a torrent of enemy fire to collect essential ammunition while he was supporting the Afghan National Army. (Source: BBC)

09 Mar 08. Calls grow for Armed Forces Day. Senior military commanders, MPs and families of service personnel killed in war have lent their support to calls for an Armed Forces Day to be created. Gen Lord Guthrie, chief of defence staff under Tony Blair, told the Sunday Telegraph it was “a marvellous idea”. Tory MP Patrick Mercer said it would be a chance to thank servicemen and women. The calls come after a survey by the Art Fund charity suggested two-thirds of Britons felt too little was done to recognise their sacrifices. The charity said 70% of the 2,082 adults it surveyed in January also supported the idea of issuing a series of stamps, dedicated to each person who has died, by official war artist Steve McQueen. Mr Mercer, himself a former army officer, said: “An Armed Forces Day is an outstanding idea and I support it 110%.” He told the paper troops should wear uniforms and ex-servicemen their medals on the day. “I think the idea of spontaneous thanks will chime very well with the British public,” he added. “It will reflect the sort of thing which went on in the First World War when there were national days for the wounded.” Admiral Sir Henry Leach, who led the Royal Navy during the Falklands War in 1982, also gave his full support to the idea. “You have to pick your battles but this is one that should be fought. I think the public would support this too,” he told the Telegraph. Reg Keys, whose son Thomas was murdered by an Iraqi mob in June 2003, said: “Actions speak louder than words. “The government keeps telling us how proud they are of our armed forces – now let them show it with an Armed Forces Day.” Armed Forces Days already exist in a number of countries including the US, Russia and Italy. The Telegraph suggests the day could be marked by all servicemen and women wearing uniform, whether on or off-duty, open days could be held at barracks and school assemblies could highlight the role of the armed forces. Last year, Gen Sir Richard

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