A soldier from Leeds who ran through enemy fire to give first aid to a casualty wounded by an insurgent bomb has been recognised for his heroism.
Corporal Scott Dyson, of 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, was on joint patrol with the Afghan National Army (ANA) in the village of Llara Kalay in Nahr-e Saraj when the ANA platoon came under fire.
The soldiers were besieged with a hail of machine gun and small-arms fire as well as rifle-launched grenades.
Cpl Dyson, from Guiseley, reacted by marshalling the ANA in how to suppress the enemy fire and protect their flanks while the remainder of his own platoon, in a separate patrol that had been providing support, had to take cover from the continued attack on their position 200 metres away.
As the other patrol tried to occupy a compound they struck a large improvised explosive device (IED), critically wounding two soldiers. Chaos reigned and one of the casualties was blown onto ground that had not been cleared of IEDs.
Ignoring the risk to himself, Cpl Dyson ran through enemy fire across the 200 metres of uncleared ground, wading through a ditch to get to the stranded casualties and administer first aid.
The 29-year-old former Guiseley High School pupil was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery.
“I was worried there were more IEDs but I decided I had to help the casualties. There were four guys involved. I went to the one who had initiated the IED first but there was nothing I could do for him,” he said.
“Two others were dazed and a third was out cold and had serious injuries to the back of his legs. The first two regained their senses and we got the unconscious guy on a stretcher and extracted him.”
As incoming fire targeted the patrol, Cpl Dyson treated the casualties and arranged their evacuation to an emergency helicopter.
“I went back to the soldier who had been killed and, from the crater caused by the IED, pulled him across to me. At this point, I started thinking ‘I’m pushing my luck here’. I got him onto a stretcher and covered him up. The gunfire had stopped by now. I take my hat off to the ANA. They suppressed the enemy enough to allow the extraction,” he said.
“And later that day, the Afghan National Police went back and recovered kit that we couldn’t find at the time to stop it falling into insurgent hands and returned it to us, which really showed how our relationship had developed.”
The soldier’s citation concludes: “Dyson displayed outstanding leadership and personal courage when responding to the fatal IED blast whilst under insurgent fire. Through outstanding personal example and prompt action in the face of grave danger, Dyson ensured that control of this chaos was regained, despite the personal danger he was in.
“His actions had a galvanising effect on the other soldiers involved and saved the life of another soldier.”
The Mention in Despatches is one of the oldest forms of recognition for gallantry within the Armed Forces. Since 1993 the Mention in Despatches has been reserved for gallantry during active operations.