Rookie soldier Adam Richardson has picked up a bravery award after staging a dramatic rescue during a training exercise on a mountain.
Pte Richardson’s Army career is off to a flying start after he showed ‘exceptional’ courage when his instructor slipped and fell while climbing Kentmere Pike in the Lake District.
His family, including dad Tony, watched with pride as he was awarded the Commandant’s Commendation at his passing out parade at Catterick last week.
Pte Richardson, 24, of Hunslet, was in a group of five soldiers on an adventurous training exercise led by a trained civilian instructor, who slipped and fell after reaching the 730 metre summit. He broke his leg and ankle in two places and was going into shock when the group sprang into action.
Pte Richardson of the 1st Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, and his comrades built a stretcher using a group shelter and carried their instructor down the mountain - despite visibility being reduced to just 20 metres.
In his citation, Brigadier David Maddan said: “The descent down the mountain was arduous and would have been hazardous on its own without the burden of a casualty.
Pte Richardson showed exceptional personal determination, courage and physical robustness in achieving this feat.”
He added: “Pte Richardson’s behaviour is a shining example to all recruits in the Infantry Training Centre Catterick and he should be highly commended.
“The fact that Pte Richardson was a recruit on week 11 of the course at the time is an achievement in itself and he deserves recognition for his maturity, courage and determination.”
Speaking from Catterick, Pte Richardson, a former Royds School pupil, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It was a bit of a shock when it happened but we just got on with it. We knew we couldn’t wait around, because of the way the weather was - raining, misty and poor visibility. We knew we just had to get out of there. I feel proud to have the commendation. It feels like I’ve set the bar quite high now - I’ve got to lead on from there.”
Pte Richardson’s dad Tony, 55, of Moor Close, Hunslet, said: “They knew they had to do something - he said it just came naturally for all of them.
“I’m so proud of him.”