A soldier who is serving on the front line in Afghanistan has spoken of the moment he came under enemy fire.
Corporal Jamie Hilton, of the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, was deployed to Helmand province in August. As a section commander, he is in charge of eight men.
Since the summer, he and his soldiers have been involved in operations to expand security.
They have also built two new checkpoints and are building a bridge across a canal to allow greater freedom of movement for locals, as well as the military.
Cpl Hilton, aged 23, said: “We were under some heavy enemy fire.
“We were suppressing the enemy. Then a rocket-propelled grenade came in and made an explosion and blew me off the roof. One of my lads was right in front of my face shouting man down. I was hanging off the roof by my arm, wedged in by my weapon system. I looked round and my platoon sergeant was behind me with complete shock on his face. Once I realised I was all right and everything was in the right place I jumped down.
“Me and my platoon sergeant had a laugh and I got back on the roof albeit with incoming fire still coming in but someone had to be up there to help my lads get through it, to identify the enemy and start putting rounds down.”
He admits his parents and wife, Jen, find it hard when he is away. He said: “It is never easy for them.
“In some ways it is harder for them than us because we know what is happening on the ground.
“All they see is on the news — British soldier killed or hurt and they don’t know who it is. We can’t ring home obviously to tell them it’s not us.”