Proving not all kids are useless chavs

Well done girl:

A 17-year-old West Midlands Army cadet has received a rare bravery award from the Duke of Kent during a Royal visit to an Army training camp in Wiltshire.

HRH The Duke of Kent presents LCpl Vicky Murray, aged 17, from Birmingham, with the Queen's Commendation for Bravery [Picture: Sgt Dave Liddle, RLC]
LCpl Vicky Murray, from Selly Oak in Birmingham and a member of the Warwickshire and West Midlands South Army Cadet Force (ACF) received the Queen's Commendation for Bravery; the first Army cadet awarded a national honour since 1941.

"It was a real honour for me to receive this award and the Duke of Kent was so kind," said Vicky as she proudly displayed the citation at Westdown Camp on Salisbury Plain, where her Cadet Detachment were on their Annual Camp.

The award relates to an incident when Vicky was walking to Bourneville School one day two years ago when she saw an elderly woman pulling at curtains in a ground-floor flat from which smoke and flames could be seen.

The quick thinking schoolgirl smashed a bedroom window with her bare hands, injuring herself in the process, and along with a school friend, cleared away the shards of glass. Joined by her friends, she built a staircase of loose bricks and two adults who arrived on the scene helped the old lady to safety.

Disregarding her own injuries, Vicky treated the victim at the scene for shock while awaiting the ambulance. Sadly, the old lady's husband, overcome by smoke and burns, later died from his injuries.

Vicky proudly shows off her awards [Picture: Sgt Dave Liddle, RLC]
"When I got there, people were just standing about and I felt I had to do something," said Vicky.

"My training as an Army Cadet helped enormously, especially the first aid and taking command of the situation."

Parents, Sue and Jim Murray, who is a former Territorial Army soldier, attended the ceremony where their daughter received her award.

"I am so very proud of her," said Sue. "The Army Cadet training gave her confidence and maturity."

Col Bob Carruthers, the Commandant of the Warwickshire ACF branch echoed their comments, saying Vicky's actions reflected the highest traditions of the Service.

"I know that the training Vicky received with the Army Cadet Force played a part in this incident, not only in first aid, but with leadership in taking control of the situation and keeping a cool head," he said.

Vicky (centre) with her proud parents Sue and Jim Murray [Picture: Sgt Dave Liddle, RLC]
"Those factors in conjunction with Vicky's undoubted bravery probably saved the life of the elderly lady. The honour she has received is wholly deserved."

Vicky, now studying for 'A' levels hopes to make a career in forensic science, but has not entirely ruled out the option of the Army and a move to Sandhurst.

The Warwickshire and West Midlands (South Sector) Army Cadet Force (ACF) held its annual camp at the Westdown Training Camp, on Salisbury Plain, which is used extensively by Regular and Territorial Soldiers.

At the annual camp all Cadets are trained and tested for their next Army Proficiency Certificate, the aim being for all students during the year is to achieve another level.

As well as attending the camp, the cadets visited local Army units, the Royal Signals Motorcycle Road Show and Longleat.

Along with the Duke of Kent, the ACF branch annual camp had visits from Mr Martin Dunne (The Lord Lieutenant of Warwick), Brigadier Ian McGill (General Secretary of the Army Cadet Force Association), and Cllr and Mrs Hood (The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Birmingham).

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