Chaplain honoured for bravery in Afghanistan
A British Army padre has won a gallantry award for supporting frontline soldiers in Helmand province – unarmed. With only his camouflaged Bible and a shepherd’s crook for defence, Padre Andy Earl dodged Taliban bullets that even pierced his armoured vehicle. Earl, 50, spent six months on tour, comforting the injured and counselling soldiers. He received the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service for ‘exceptional pastoral care’.
The former policeman and vicar from Nottingham worked alongside bomb disposal soldiers and with the Engineer Regiment. Earl denies that he took an unnecessary risk: ‘Throughout history Army chaplains have always tried to be at the place of greatest danger. That is not reckless, it is going to the place where there is the most fearfulness and the most spiritual need.’
- The Telegraph: Army padre wins gallantry award for service in Helmand (ukforcesafghanistan.wordpress.com)
- TA engineer honoured for work in Afghanistan (waronterrornews.typepad.com)
- The Guardian: UK chaplains in Afghanistan: ordinary priests with an extraordinary flock (ukforcesafghanistan.wordpress.com)