• Christina Drummond

Corporal Bryan James Budd VC, 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment


Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2006, Corporal Bryan James Budd VC, 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan.

He had joined the Parachute Regiment in 1995, and then passed the selection process for 16 Air Assault Brigade's Pathfinder Platooon, and with that specially trained elite unit he served in Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Macedonia, Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2002 he passed the Section Commander’s Battle Course with distinction. Corporal Budd had qualified to teach Army Combat Survival, and in 2004 was posted to the Army Foundation College as an instructor. He is remembered as being professional, courageous and hardworking, a talented soldier who was very much liked as well as admired.

In June of 2006 he deployed to Afghanistan, where in July he was on a routine patrol when his section became involved in a fire fight, one soldier having been wounded and lying out in the open – from the London Gazette: “….courageous and prompt action proved decisive in breaking the enemy and was undertaken at great personal risk. Corporal Budd's decisive leadership and conspicuous gallantry allowed his wounded colleague to be evacuated to safety where he subsequently received life-saving treatment.”

On the day of his death Corporal Budd was leading his section in a platoon clearance patrol near Sangin District Centre. Taliban fighters were spotted and it was decided to surprise them with a flanking manoeuvre; they came under heavy fire, three soldiers being wounded. Although also wounded, Corporal Budd continued to move forward alone, and the London Gazette continues the story: “Inspired by Corporal Budd's example, the rest of the platoon reorganised and pushed forward their attack, eliminating more of the enemy and eventually forcing their withdrawal. Corporal Budd subsequently died of his wounds, and when his body was later recovered it was found surrounded by three dead Taliban. Corporal Budd's conspicuous gallantry during these two engagements saved the lives of many of his colleagues. He acted in the full knowledge that the rest of his men had either been struck down or had been forced to go to ground. His determination to press home a single-handed assault against a superior enemy force despite his wounds stands out as a premeditated act of inspirational leadership and supreme valour. In recognition of this, Corporal Budd is awarded the Victoria Cross.”

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Tootal said: “Corporal Bryan Budd was an outstanding young man who had quickly risen through the ranks in the Regiment. Extremely popular, he had a calm and professional manner that inspired confidence in all that worked with him; a natural leader. Bryan died doing the job he loved, leading his men from the front, where he always was. Bryan was proud to call himself a Paratrooper and we were proud to stand beside him. One of the very best in all respects, he will be sadly missed by all his comrades in 3 PARA.”

Bryan, born in Belfast but resident in Ripon, North Yorkshire, was 29 years old and married with a two-year-old daughter and a baby due the following month.

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