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Ramsgate Rifleman donates George Medal to regiment

Rifleman Paul Jacobs receives his medal from Her Majesty The Queen
Rifleman Paul Jacobs receives his medal from Her Majesty The Queen
Rifleman Paul Jacobs, of Ramsgate
Rifleman Paul Jacobs, of Ramsgate

by Martin Jefferies

A Kent soldier blinded by an enemy bomb in Afghanistan has emotionally donated his bravery medal to his battalion.

Rifleman Paul Jacobs, of 2nd Battalion The Rifles, was leading his patrol through the country’s dangerous Helmand Province when an improvised explosive device (IED) suddenly exploded.

The 21-year-old Ramsgate man suffered horrific injuries and lost one of his fellow servicemen in the huge blast. Moments later, another bomb was detonated, killing a second soldier.

Remarkably, he still had the presence of mind to drag himself into an area where he knew his rescue would be much safer for medics.

The Queen presented Rifleman Jacobs with the George Medal - the second highest decoration that a civilian can receive - at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace yesterday.

He said he was "proud and honoured" to have received the commendation, which he donated to the soldiers he fought alongside in Afghanisation, as well as those who have lost their lives in the conflict.

Rifleman Jacobs, who was initially treated at Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, is now undergoing rehabilitation at St Dunstan’s Centre, West Sussex, which provides support for visually impaired ex-servicemen.

He has vowed to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for charity later this year, after completing the London Marathon in April.

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