posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 06:49 AM
TA soldier is awarded Military Cross for gun battle
By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent
A bus driver and part-time soldier who started shooting with one hand to defend a convoy after being wounded was awarded the Military Cross
L/Cpl Darren Dickson, 22, received the medal for bravery from the Queen at a ceremony at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
He was the first soldier in the Royal Logistic Corps, and only the second member of the Territorial Army, to be awarded a Military Cross.
He was escorting a convoy taking water supplies to UK forces in Basra, southern Iraq, in May last year when he was shot in the shoulder and badly
injured. He picked up his rifle and continued to fire against 40 insurgents despite bleeding heavily.
Asked yesterday why he thought he had been nominated for the honour, he said: "I can't tell. I'm no different from anyone else. It still hasn't
had a chance to sink in."
L/Cpl Dickson, who was watched by his mother, said the experience had strengthened his faith in God and made him determined to become a priest. He
studied law and accountancy at university but was working as a bus driver in his home city of Edinburgh when he was called up last year.
He had been in Iraq for a week when he and 23 comrades were asked to escort the convoy through a route in Basra known as The Chicken Run.
"Everyone asks you what was going through your mind at the time," he said. "You don't really think about anything. It all seems to fall into
place, you do what you are meant to do.
"I felt a tremendous pain and thought I was dead at first. Everything was happening in slow motion and it took me about 10 seconds to realise I was
"I was terrified, but we were still under attack so I got up and I was walking about like John Wayne, shooting with one arm. There was blood seeping
everywhere. I do not mind admitting I prayed really hard.
"Iraq has changed me physically and spiritually. I want to become a Franciscan and to be ordained.
"Before I went out, I spoke to my vocational director and we agreed Iraq would be good for me. I was told it would make or break my relationship with
His commanding officer, Lt Col Phil Couser said: "Darren's award is the highest gallantry award we have had in Scotland this time round, and the
highest award the Scottish Transport Regiment has ever had."
L/Cpl Dickson was one of 84 Scots, including the Olympic gold medallists Shirley Robertson and Chris Hoy, who had honours bestowed on them by the
www.telegraph.co.uk . . .