Hero Royal Marine saved colleagues shot in Afghanistan

A Royal Marine from Preston is to be honoured for helping to save comrades shot by a rogue Afghan soldier.

Saturday, 15th March 2014, 8:47 am
Harry Robinson

Harry Robinson, 24, of Ashton, was among the first on the scene to treat casualties when the man opened fire at a patrol base at Hazrat, injuring seven marines.

Harry will be presented with the Military Cross, granted in recognition of “an act or acts of exemplary gallantry”, by the Queen at a ceremony on May 1, for his quick thinking and bravery during the tour in Afghanistan.

Speaking about that night, Harry, who joined the marines in 2007, said: “It was the last night before we pulled out of the patrol base when the soldier decided to turn his gun on several engineers.

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“I saw rounds coming down and I heard the lads shout for a medic, so I ran up to the first casualty, who had been shot six times.”

After medic Harry gave first aid to the first casualty, more rounds rained down on the camp, leaving seven people injured.

Harry said: “I thought, ‘Well, this isn’t ideal’ but I just wanted to keep the casualty I was attending to breathing, that was my main concern, and to assess what was going on.

“When I managed to stop his bleeding I went to treat another casualty but quickly realised the first casualty was my priority so I went back to him and the other medic with me stayed with the second.

“We had to bounce around to each casualty to assess how each of them was getting on.

“It was pretty hairy.”

All but one of the casualties survived. Sapper Richard Walker, 23, from Leeds, a father of one, died from his injuries.

Harry said: “I rang my mum after the incident.

“I was a bit shook up but I said, ‘Mum, I’m just ringing you to let you know I’m alive’ and that’s when she started to ask what had happened, so I told her as much as I could over the phone.”

The Royal Marines Medic was inspired to join the armed forces by his second-oldest brother, who was in the Navy.

Harry, who has two older brothers and a younger brother and sister, is stationed in Taunton, Somerset, with 40 Commando and had already completed one tour of Afghanistan before he decided to train as a medic.

He said: “I was just a general duties marine, which is a lot different but when I saw casualties on the first tour I actually wanted to be the person to look after people and get involved in helping.

“I was mega-nervous about going on the second tour because of the added responsibility but the main thing in my mind was what happens when something does happen and you have to react and be able to look after the lads.”

And now, Harry has received his invitation to the regal ceremony that he will attend with his girlfriend and friends who were at the incident.

He said: “I’m looking forward to it and my parents are really proud of me, but I don’t think I’m as excited as my mum.

“I was completely shocked, speechless, in fact, for about five minutes when I was handed my citation.

“Once it had sunk in I just felt massively honoured to receive such an award, I didn’t expect it.

“I was just doing my job at the end of the day and trying to help people so the question went through my head that was it really for me?”