13 Dec 18
The Scottish Sun
THESE are the bravest and most remarkable people in Britain’s Armed Forces – the winners at last night’s Sun Military Awards.
The heroes were honoured at a ceremony hosted by TV’s Lorraine Kelly at Banqueting House in London’s Whitehall.
HMS Daring won the award for Hero Overseas: Unit
Earlier in the day, more than 120 nominees enjoyed a reception at 10 Downing St.
It was hosted by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, who told the nominees: “You are changing peoples’ lives, you are changing the course of history, you are the ones that actually demonstrate that Britain is a power that can bring good, bring hope and change the lives of people.”
[bc_video video_id=”5979379443001″ account_id=”5067014667001″ player_id=”default” embed=”in-page” padding_top=”56%” autoplay=”” min_width=”0px” max_width=”640px” width=”100%” height=”100%” caption=”Millies 2018: Armed Forces’ heroes and celebrities party with each other at The Sun Military Awards”]
Prime Minister Theresa May — unable to host the drinks bash as she had to race to Brussels for the latest Brexit talks — sent a message declaring: “You show so clearly why our Armed Forces are the very best in the world.”
Nominations opened in June for the 11th annual Millies, with hundreds of entries in different categories being shortlisted by judges before last night’s awards.
Lorraine Kelly hosted the awards in London’s Whitehall
The panel for the gongs, which are sponsored by BAE Systems, included Ben Fogle, Jeremy Clarkson, SAS hero Andy McNabb and Penny Lancaster, plus numerous military top brass.
These are the winners and their stories.
Winner: Former LBdr Rob Long, 473 Special Observation Battery, Royal Artillery
Both of Rob Long’s eyes were destroyed when he was hit by a buried bomb in Afghanistan
COURAGEOUS ex-soldier Rob Long has battled back from blindness to become a world champion in jiu-jitsu.
The former elite surveillance soldier was hit when a buried bomb exploded in Afghan hellhole Sangin in 2010. His helmet was split in two by the blast – and both of his eyes were destroyed.
But since then the ex- Lance Bombardier has taken up the Japanese martial art and earlier this year won gold at the Para World Jiu-Jitsu Championships in the UAE. Rob was last night handed his gong by TV’s Bear Grylls and Susanna Reid.
The dad-of-one, 31, from South East London, said: “My life was in tatters. Now I am sat here with all these wonderful people – it’s incredible. I feel like this has brought part of my life back for me.”
Hero Overseas: Unit
Winner: HMS Daring
The crew spent 50 days operating in the Gulf of Aden
ROYAL Navy warship HMS Daring and her crew of 160 sailed some of the world’s most perilous waters last year to protect vital shipping. The operation was launched in the Gulf of Aden to patrol the narrow Bab-el-Mandeb Strait as the war between Saudi Arabia and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels raged in Yemen.
The crew spent 50 days operating in the high-threat area, at times within reach of missiles aimed directly at them. In total HMS Daring spent 97 hours at Action Stations, with 100 per cent of the crew on watch as they escorted more than 800,000 tonnes of shipping.
Accepting the award, Commander Philip Dennis, who captained the ship, said: “One big thank you is to our friends and families, who were not with us but were with us in spirit for the nine months we were away.”
Olympic cycling ace Victoria Pendleton, 38, who presented the award, said: “When we come to something like this it’s real life and it’s very humbling.”
Hero Overseas: Individual
Winner: LCpl Chris May, LCpl Dean Priestley, Tpr Stuart Finlay, Tpr Ross Woodward, Tpr James Astbury, Tpr Zak Davidson
The award was presented by Ant Middleton and Emily Atak
THESE six hero soldiers were on a lads’ weekend in Las Vegas when the worst mass shooting in US history unfolded – and they raced into the danger zone.
Their friends, of the Queen’s Dragoon Guards, were partying following a military exercise when crazed Stephen Paddock opened fire on an open-air concert in October last year, leaving 58 dead and more than 500 injured. Lance Corporal Priestley said last night: “We saw people running towards us screaming, and knew we had to help”. They treated the injured and lead others to safety.
Lance Corporal May said: “We just acted on instinct. Training just kicked in. It was only when we got back to the hotel room later that it started to sink in. My parents phoned me and they were absolutely petrified.”
The award was presented by ex-SAS tough guy Ant Middleton, 37, and I’m A Celebrity runner-up Emily Atak, 28.
Hero At Home: Unit
Winner: Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Task Force
This force risked their lives after the Novichok attack in Salisbury
WHEN deadly nerve agent Novichok was released in Salisbury, Wilts, more than 1,200 troops from this task force risked their own health to protect everyone else from harm.
The attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, followed by the death of local mum-of-three Dawn Sturgess and the poisoning of her partner, sent shockwaves around the world.
Proud Group Captain Jason “Chez” Davies, the officer commanding the task force, said last night: “We did the job between dusk and dawn, out of mind, out of sight, because actually doing our job in front of the people of Salisbury would have increased the fear.
“So to be recognised and respected at the end of it is just simply tremendous.”
Hero At Home: Individual
Winner: Cdr Andrew Parkinson, Commanding Officer Navy Combined Cadet Force
Andrew Parkinson jumped into the River Hamble to save the life of a drowning woman
COMMANDER Andrew Parkinson saved the life of a drowning woman in July after she became trapped underneath her boat .
The 55-year-old was celebrating his birthday on his own boat on the River Hamble in Southampton when he heard a scream and splash – then saw a her under the water. He dived in and found her life jacket was wedged under the hull.
Cdr Parkinson recalled: “She was unconscious and lifeless. I knew if I let her go we would be recovering a body.” He cut her free, hauled her out and cleared the water from her lungs. Then his phone rang – it was his wife, to say happy birthday.
He said: “I told her I had been involved in saving someone’s life. Without skipping a beat, she said, ‘Well done you, give me a call when it all calms down’.”
Winner: Cpl Isabell Hutchinson, 299 Parachute Squadron, Royal Engineers
Isabell Hutchinson talked a teenager out of committing suicide
DEDICATED Isabell Hutchinson talked a desperate teenager out of a suicide attempt. The reservist, 29, from Sutton-in-Craven, North Yorks – who has a full time job as an HR executive – used all her Army training when she intervened last June in Poole, Dorset.
She saw the girl sitting alone in a multi-storey car park as she drove out after doing some shopping, and her gut told her something was wrong. She turned back, calmed the girl and talked her away from danger.
Corporal Hutchinson, a married mum of one, said last night: “I’m still in shock, I didn’t expect to win, it’s an amazing feeling. It’s such a prestigious event, and it’s amazing that people are honoured like this.”
Corrie’s Antony Cotton, 43, who handed over the award alongside ex-I’m A Celebrity champ Georgia Toffolo, 24, said: “I’m so lucky to hear these people’s incredible stories.
Winner: Major Scotty Mills, Royal Marines
Gareth Southgate presented the award to Maj Millls
MANAGER of England’s heroic World Cup team Gareth Southgate handed Major Scotty Mills his award with the words: “I am really clear that the only heroes are the ones in your team.”
Maj Mills helped the footballers to glory by injecting the Royal Marines’ team ethos into the squad. Players visited the Royal Marines at their base in Lympstone, Devon, for a weekend of Commando training at the hands of the married dad-of-four.
Maj Mills, 51, of Peckham, South East London, is head of physical training for the Royal Marines and through the sessions ended up forging a close bond with Gareth, 48.
Last night he said: “I had no idea this would happen. I would like to say thank you to Gareth, for presenting me the award, but more for your friendship and the friendship of your England team. You’ve really connected our nation . . . and gave us a summer of football to remember.”
Support To The Armed Forces
Winner: There But Not There
The statues raised millions of pounds for six Forces charities
GHOSTLY silhouettes of Tommies sprang up around the UK and abroad in this spine-tingling art campaign.They were part of the commemorations marking 100 years since the end of World War One.
The silhouettes, made by former servicemen, were then sold, raising millions of pounds for six Forces charities.
Campaign chief Rowley Gregg said: “It’s a true honour and a privilege to be standing here in front of all these wonderful people. That’s the reason that charities and groups like ours are so important – because they can look after these veterans.”
Sun columnist Jane Moore, 56, who presented the award alongside Coronation Street star Kym Marsh, 42, said: “Every time you see those statues it makes you think.”
Winner: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory – Sepsis research
This team discovered a way to prevent sepsis deaths
THIS brilliant team as become the first in the world to discover the key to preventing deaths from sepsis. After a decade of work, the lab in Salisbury, Wilts, have found the killer infection’s genetic “signature”.
It is the first step to developing a test that can be used in hospitals – and on battlefields – to treat blood poisoning before it kills.
Lead scientist on the project Roman Lukaszewski, 47, said: “The problem you’ve got with infection is, the longer you leave it, the worse it gets.
“We thought it would be a good idea to enable treatment to occur before you get ill.”
[article-rail-section title=”MOST READ IN UK NEWS” posts_category=”141″ posts_number=”6″ query_type=”popular” /]
Judges’ Special Recognition Award
Wing Commander Kevin Gatland organised many of the year-long RAF festivities to mark the 100 year anniversary
THESE breath-taking celebrations to mark 100 years since the creation of the RAF captured the nation’s hearts and inspired a new generation to take to the skies. As part of the year-long festivities, more than 75,000 people crowded into The Mall in London to enjoy a momentous day including a parade and stunning fly-by of 103 RAF aircraft.
Wing Commander Kevin Gatland, 37, who planned the fly-past, said afterwards: “It genuinely brought a lump to my throat, hearing the reaction of the crowd”.
Another 165,000 people visited the RAF 100 Aircraft Tour which travelled the country, and 1.6million children took part in special school activities and challenges.
[boxout headline=”The Sun Says”]FOR 11 years The Sun has cheered on Britain’s forces at our Millies spectacular.
We hope we did them proud again last night.
It’s an honour for us to lead the nation’s salute to our troops.
They are the best of British.
[bc_video video_id=”5979160701001″ account_id=”5067014667001″ player_id=”default” embed=”in-page” padding_top=”56%” autoplay=”” min_width=”0px” max_width=”640px” width=”100%” height=”100%” caption=”Millies 2018: Armed Forces’ heroes and celebrities arrive for The Sun Military Awards”]
GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org