Bravery award for Kiwi soldier

A New Zealander who picked up a live grenade and hurled it away to save two of his British Army comrades from a Taliban attack has been honoured for bravery.

Rifleman James McKie, 29, threw away the grenade just seconds before it exploded during a firefight in Sangin, in Afghanistan's Helmand province, in March.

The Wellington-born soldier was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross cross in a low-key ceremony in London today, the BBC reported.

"This is for my platoon," he said today. "We had four killed and eight wounded -- 23 of us went to Sangin and 12 of us came back."

The medal -- the second highest award after the Victoria Cross -- would be presented by senior members of the royal family at a later date.

Rifleman McKie previously served as a medic in the New Zealand Army for seven years, joining the force after he left high school.




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