Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, who was killed by an explosion in Afghanistan, has been awarded the Estonian Defence Forces Distinguished Service Decoration. The award was presented to Lt Col Thorneloe's widow Sally at a private ceremony in London's Wellington Barracks - Regimental Head Quarters of the Welsh Guards, which was attended by Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup; Chief of Defence of the Estonian Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Ants Laaneots, Lt Col Thorneloe's parents, Major and Mrs Thorneloe and his sister, Jessica. Accepting the award, Mrs Thorneloe said: "Before deploying to Afghanistan as the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards my husband Rupert thought it important to meet all the soldiers he would command on operations in Helmand Province. Of course this included the Estonian contingent."I knew this would mean not seeing him just before Easter, but he always put his soldiers first and it was one of the characteristics which made him such a capable and compassionate commander. Those first steps were crucial in nurturing a strong relationship between him and 'his Estonians' as he later liked to refer to them. Read More: http://www.army.mod.uk/news/17196.aspx Mrs Sally Thorneloe, widow of Lt Col Rupert Thorneloe MBE, received the Estonian Defence Forces' Distinguished Service Decoration for Battlefield Services from General Ants Laaneots at the Officers Mess, Wellington Barracks, London, on Monday 28 September 2009.