Second George Medal for RLC bomb hero

Army chiefs have awarded a second George Medal to a bomb disposal expert killed in Afghanistan last year.

Warrant Officer Gary O'Donnell, 40, of Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, was killed in September while trying to make safe a Taliban explosive device in Helmand Province.

He had won the George Medal - awarded for extreme bravery - after making safe similar devices in southern Iraq in 2006.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said Warrant Officer O'Donnell had been awarded a second, posthumous George Medal for the work he was doing when he died.

Army officials said Warrant Officer O'Donnell, a father of four, was approaching a booby-trapped bomb to try to clear a path for fellow soldiers when it detonated and killed him.

He had been commanding a team of specialist bomb disposal engineers and was nearing the end of his six-month tour of duty.

Following his death, Lieutenant Colonel Dave Wilson, Commander of the Joint Force Engineer Group said Warrant Officer O'Donnell was an "amazing man".

"The danger to his own life rarely seemed to affect him," said Lieutenant Colonel Wilson.

"Men of this calibre are extremely rare."
Well deserved. Top bloke.

I worked with Gaz in Germany and he was a likable, friendly, approachable and technically proficient geezer.


War Hero
just a quiet & modest comment - I find, like most of us, the day to day bravery of men like Warrant Officer O'Donnell humbling. I remember thinking when seeing them operate in NI, with a curious outward nochalance but a calm professionalisim on the job, that they were a breed apart from the rest of us. Thank God for them. I tip my hat to all the EOD / ATO boys out there and obviously, Warrant Officer O'Donnell.
Well done THE Special one and of course W.O.O'Donnell, then you read about a Kennedy getting a Knighthood, something wrong somewhere.



War Hero
Gaz was a friend of mine.
He was a top bloke and deserves this award fully,as does every bloke out there.

I'll have a pint for him,as i hope you all will.

EOD - the ability to think imaginatively about the problem they are solving but without imagining the consequences...a rare breed.
Gaz was also a very good friend of mine.

Cuddles said:
EOD - the ability to think imaginatively about the problem they are solving but without imagining the consequences...a rare breed.

I like that and intend to steal it.
No less than he deserved.

Theres a little bit of irony involved in the award. (Some might find it in bad taste, Gaz would say - "you cunts").

Whilst still alive he was told that he was being written up for another award due to the sheer volume of devices he had dealt with during his tour.

Apparently (I don't know verbatim, 'cause I was not there), he said he hoped it wasn't another GM because it would be a little disapointing to go in front of HM and just receive the small bar that is mounted on the initial medal issued.

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