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West servicemen honoured with top bravery awards at War Museum

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 08, 2012

Royal Marine Corporal Justin Morgan of Culdrose-based 771 Naval Air Squadron, won the prize for Most Outstanding Sailor or Marine

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Armed Forces heroes from the Westcountry have been honoured at a military awards night in London.

Two of the region's servicemen received personal accolades at the Sun Military Awards – The Millies – organised by The Sun newspaper in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence.

Captain Simon Maxwell, of Plymouth-based 42 Commando, won the Overcoming Adversity award. He was presented with it by comedian Ricky Gervais.

Royal Marine Corporal Justin Morgan of Culdrose-based 771 Naval Air Squadron won the prize for Most Outstanding Sailor or Marine.

Capt Maxwell had part of his left leg amputated after stepping on an explosive device whilst on patrol in Afghanistan in summer 2011.

Less than 12 months after the critical injury, he completed the Ironman UK Race unaided in a time of 15 hours and 50 minutes.

Cpl Morgan was winched into 50ft waves to save a French yachtsman from drowning. He was presented with his award by Hollywood beauty Amanda Seyfried.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were joined by celebrities, and Olympians for the "Night of Heroes" event at the Imperial War Museum on Thursday.

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, First Sea Lord said: "Over the last five years, the Sun Military Awards has shone the spotlight on the courage, tenacity and professionalism of our Armed Forces.

"This year has been no exception, showcasing these outstanding men and women, serving the nation's interests both across the world on operations, and in the UK."

The nine award categories celebrated the professionalism and bravery of the men and women working in our Armed Forces around the world.

Members of the public were also recognised for their role in supporting the service personnel.

A special tribute was also paid to all three Services for their role during the London 2012 Olympic Games, under Operation Olympics.

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who was a judge for the awards, said he was privileged to listen to the servicemen and women's stories.

He said: "It is a fantastic thing, it is a slightly less stuffy recognition of some extraordinary sacrifice."

Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton said the military deserved special praise this year for their role in helping make the Games a success.

The ceremony will be shown on ITV1 on December 14 at 9pm.

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