Edinburgh soldiers honoured for Afghanistan work

Lance Corporal Michael Gillespie. Picture: PA
Lance Corporal Michael Gillespie. Picture: PA
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Two Edinburgh soldiers are among those being honoured for their work in Afghanistan.

Edinburgh soldier Lance Corporal Michael Gillespie was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS) for improving frontline medical support by working with an Afghan National Army doctor.

Andreas Peat. Picture: Comp

Andreas Peat. Picture: Comp

The 22-year-old spent six weeks with the doctor giving training and advice and his award citation reads: “It is due to Gillespie’s patience and exceptional advising that the doctor is now empowered and respected, taken ownership of injured Afghan National Army soldiers as well as becoming an integral part of operational training.”

The honours also recognise a soldier who single-handedly saved Afghan and Danish soldiers from an improvised explosive device (IED) trap.

Warrant Officer Andreas Peat, a high threat explosive ordnance disposal operator, receives the George Medal for his role when he was attached to a task force of a Danish Special Forces unit with Afghan partners.

The 39-year-old, also from Edinburgh, was on an operation to search a suspected homemade explosive factory when one of the Danish soldiers triggered a device on a compound roof.

WO Peat cleared a route to the man while urging the other Afghan and Danish soldiers to stay still to avoid triggering other bombs.

Other awards to the servicemen include the Distinguished Service Order and a Mention in Despatches.


Some 117 people from across the Armed Forces are included in the latest Operational Honours list, published today.

The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (1 Scots) completed Operation Herrick 17 in Afghanistan in March and four servicemen are honoured on the list.

Major Robert Connolly was also awarded a QCVS for helping with the transition of the Afghan Army.

His citation states: “His performance provides a superb example of initiative, expertise and skilled diplomacy. His contribution to the development of the ISAF campaign in Afghanistan has been real, measurable and hugely impressive.”

Corporal Dennis Skinner, received the oldest form of recognition of gallantry within the Armed Forces with a Mention in Despatches.

Cpl Skinner was a Section Commander during Operation Herrick and on one mission with the Afghan Task Force 444 to search compounds in Aikozai, a soldier was badly injured after stepping on an explosive device.


The Army said Cpl Skinner put his own safety second to the injured soldier by running 20 metres to administer first aid and co-ordinate the casualty’s evacuation.

His award citation states: “Skinner’s relentless, drive, inspiring courage and leadership mark him out as extraordinary during Operation Herrick 17; he is strongly recommended for national recognition.”

The fourth 1 Scot honoured is Brigadier Robert Bruce, who was Commander of Task Force Helmand during the Afghanistan tour.

The Army said he was at the forefront of the action and regularly spent time with his Afghan counterpart when they were under fire.

His citation credits him with developing “the confidence and capability of the Afghan National Security Forces in Central Helmand where they are now self-motivated enough to execute their own operations in a bid to protect the people.”

It continues: “This has been a stand-out performance of leadership on operations. His was the performance which defined the tour for his brigade; true leadership, delivered from the front with resolute determination that must demand formal and pubic recognition.”