Jun 2 2011 By Laura Jones
Lance Corporal Alan Redford, of Moreton, received the military cross
THE Queen awarded the Military Cross to a Wirral soldier who inspired his men to battle through a 26-hour barrage of bullets and hand grenades.
Dad-of-two Lance Corporal Alan Redford, of Moreton, of the 1st Battalion, the Mercian Regiment, was honoured yesterday at Buckingham Palace.
The modest former Henry Meols School pupil received the MC for repeated acts of courage during the regiment’s gruelling Afghan tour last year, which saw 12 Mercian soldiers killed and many wounded.
In June, the 35-year-old Liverpool FC fan and his section came under attack after Private Jonathan Monk was killed in an IED explosion.
His citation said Alan leapt to his feet and ran towards the enemy, firing as he went, forcing the insurgents to retreat from the compound where his men joined him.
The Mercians were then penned in and forced to fight for their lives for more than a day.
Alan said: "It was terrifying, but we had a good gang of lads and we had done a year of training beforehand, so survival instincts just kick in.
"It was my job to make sure they got the right kit and knew what they were doing with it.
"I was making sure I was up and fighting, so they had someone to follow.
"If some of the younger lads can see ‘Reds’ up and fighting, then that makes them think ‘I want some of that’."
Despite doing previous tours of Iraq, Northern Ireland and the Falklands, Alan said Helmand province was his toughest test yet.
He said: "The amount of contact from the enemy, the amount of casualties we took – we lost 12 good lads out there and even one life is too many – everything was harder.
"With the way we had to live and on top of that trying to make the local population safe, trying to win hearts and minds, it was a difficult tour."
Alan, who joined up 12 years ago, added: "Two lads in our company didn’t make it back – they were good lads and good mates as well. You just feel numb and it puts you in shock because it is too close to home."