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Marine Receives Military Cross For Bravery Under Fire

Royal Marine Mark Williams with his Military Cross


A Royal Marine who rescued a severely wounded colleague and gave him life saving first aid while all the time coming under fierce enemy fire has been presented with a Military Cross.

When I saw him lying out there I just knew I had to get him; there were bullets hitting the ground around me as I went over to pull him back.
Royal Marine Mark Williams

Marine Mark Williams, 23, of Nuneaton, was decorated with the honour by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace today (1 Feb) in front of his proud mother and two sisters.

He said:

“It is such an honour to be here – I still can’t quite believe it.

"When I was told I was getting a Military Cross I was really shocked. My family are all really pleased for me as well and very excited to be at Buckingham Palace.”

Mark, of 30 Commando Royal Marines, was on his second tour of Afghanistan in May 2011 when his patrol was ambushed by insurgents who shot one of the lance corporals in the chest, leaving him lying helpless between the two opposing sides.

Taking no notice of the extreme danger he was in, Mne Williams raced out to his colleague under a hail of bullets and began treating the wounds before dragging him 30 metres to what he thought was a safer position behind a compound wall.

Royal Marine Mark Williams

Yet as he continued to treat his colleague, the pair come under further attack from another firing position and, once the stricken Marine was stabilised, Mne Williams picked up his weapon and returned to the firefight.

Mark, who attended St Thomas More Roman Catholic School in Nuneaton until 2005, was serving with 42 Commando in a remote area of Helmand.

He said:

“When I saw him lying out there I just knew I had to get him; there were bullets hitting the ground around me as I went over to pull him back.

"I don’t remember being really afraid at the time, I was just thinking that he was a big lad and was hoping I could drag him back safely.

“Another lad came and helped me and we took him behind the wall, which we thought would be safe, while I looked at his wounds.

"The bullet had hit his chest and I used the equipment in my first aid pack that we all carry to try and stem the bleeding.

"It was really nerve wracking because all I could think about was making sure he stayed alive.”

Mark’s patrol helped to provide cover and managed to push back the enemy, allowing a helicopter to land and transfer the casualty to Camp Bastion hospital where the medical team were in no doubt that Mark had saved his colleague’s life.

The Military Cross

Mark’s citation said he displayed ‘enormous strength of character, bravery and coolness of thought’ by acting quickly to save the life of a fellow Marine.

His ‘selflessness, valour and tenacity in the face of a determined enemy’ were recognised as exceptional given his rank and limited experience.

Mark is based at Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth. A Military Cross is granted in recognition of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land.

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