Johnson Beharry VC

Johnson Beharry VC

Johnson Beharry VC, of the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment is a British soldier who has been awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration for valour in the British and Commonwealth Armed Forces, for twice saving members of his unit from ambushes, at Al-Amarah, Iraq. He sustained serious head injuries in the second engagement.

His Victoria Cross citation reads: 'Private Beharry carried out two individual acts of great heroism by which he saved the lives of his comrades. Both were in direct face of the enemy, under intense fire, at great personal risk to himself (one leading to him sustaining very serious injuries). His valour is worthy of the highest recognition. 

'In the early hours of 1 May 2004 Beharry's company was ordered to replenish an isolated coalition forces outpost located in the centre of the troubled city of Al Amarah. He was the driver of a platoon commander's Warrior armoured fighting vehicle. His platoon was the company's reserve force and was placed on immediate notice to move.

'As the main elements of his company were moving into the city to carry out the replenishment, they were re-tasked to fight through a series of enemy ambushes in order to extract a foot patrol that had become pinned down under sustained small arms and heavy machine gun fire and improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenade attack.

'Despite receiving a serious head injury, which later saw him being listed as very seriously injured and in a coma for some time, his levelheaded actions in the face of heavy and accurate enemy fire at short range again almost certainly saved the lives of his crew and provided the conditions for their safe evacuation to medical treatment.

'Beharry displayed repeated extreme gallantry and unquestioned valour, despite intense direct attacks, personal injury and damage to his vehicle in the face of relentless enemy action.' 

Last updated: Friday, 15 July 2011