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Private Johnson Beharry VC ©

On 27 April 2005, at Buckingham Palace, London, Queen Elizabeth II presented the Victoria Cross to Pte Johnson Beharry, 25, of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, for heroism in the Iraq War.

H Marshall

yonder beams a radiant flame
amid the gory gloom of war
and for a brief moment in history
the dank blackness illuminates
to show the brighter side of man

twice wounded, saving colleagues
caught in ferocious enemy fire,
young Johnson's forehead spewed
a painful prism of precious blood
and left him in a deathly coma

but we should reflect on this--
Private Beharry, now recovered,
is the first living recipient
of a Victoria Cross since 1965--
all others lost their lives

also reflect --while no one glories in war--
that day in the town of Al Amarah
young Johnson's true colours shone clear
and made us all proud of those
who would give their lives in our name

and if you question his actions
his reply is consistent with such valour--
"Maybe I was brave, I don't know.
I think anyone else could do the same thing.
At the time I was just doing the job."


Step forward Private Beharry and hear our heartfelt praise, for you are a true hero, an inspiration, and a man of great character. All brother soldiers salute you!


Part of his Citation reads:
"For his repeated extreme gallantry and unquestioned valour, despite intense direct attacks, personal injury and damage to his vehicle in the face of relentless enemy action, Private Beharry deserves the highest possible recognition."


Background notes on the Victoria Cross . . . .

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