A PROUD Bridlington father will travel to London next week to receive a Military Cross from The Queen on behalf of his son Matthew.
Corporal Matthew Stenton, of Queensgate, Bridlington, was 23 when he was killed in Afghanistan last July, while helping to rescue an injured colleague.
His brave actions led to him being post-humously awarded the Military Cross – one of the Army’s highest honours for bravery.
His dad Michael Stenton will travel to the Capital on Tuesday, with his wife and Matthew’s stepmum, Gillian, to collect the medal from The Queen at Buckingham Palace in an informal ceremony.
Michael said that although he was looking forward to picking up the medal, he knew it would be an occasion of mixed emotions knowing that his son was not able to receive the medal himself.
“They have told us that it is going to be an informal event, not a big ceremony, but I’m still really, really honoured to be picking this up on behalf of Matthew,” he said.
“It is nice to think that the country has recognised his actions, but on the other side, each and every one of those lads and lasses out there are all heroes.
“They all deserve recognition every day for what they do for this country.”
The Military Cross is the third level military decoration awarded to soldiers for ‘an act or acts of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy.’
Matthew’s actions last summer were hailed by his colleagues as official reports described how he moved his Viking armoured vehicle into the line of fire so that an injured comrade could be safely rescued during a shoot-out with insurgents north of Lashkar Gah. The casualty was successfully rescued, but Matthew and a colleague, Lance Corporal Stephen Daniel Monkhouse, were shot and killed.
Speaking at the time of Matthew’s death, Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox described Matthew as “a tenacious soldier and a role model for the younger men in his unit’”.