Lieut William Boreham awarded Military Cross

An Army Officer from Nantwich who rescued a casualty while fighting off insurgent attacks in Afghanistan, has been awarded the Military Cross.

Lieut William Boreham, 33, was on patrol when a soldier nearby stood on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and was severely injured.

William, of The 1st Battallion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, recovered quickly and sent a radio report back to his headquarters while reassuring the injured soldier.

Then, despite the risk of further explosions, the former South Cheshire College student moved closer to help.

He said: “The problem with an IED blast is you never know whether there will be a secondary device.

“We thought there might be one, but we thought it was on the other side of him.”

William BorehamHe and a colleague gathered the injured soldier and, with rounds striking about them, carried their comrade 30 metres to the safety of the rear of the patrol.

They then came under fierce and sustained small arms fire, with rounds striking the ground close to the wounded man.

But William said: “We felt was a lot less urgency about the small arms than we did for the IED.”

It was only later a second bomb was found, just one metre from where William had moved to rescue the injured soldier.

As the evacuation helicopter prepared to land the insurgents renewed their attack, firing a rocket propelled grenade into the landing site along with heavy machine gun fire.

William realised this would hamper the helicopter’s ability to land, so made radio contact with a second attack helicopter, moved out of cover, exposing himself to extreme personal danger, and provided the pilot with vital target information.

He helped the attack helicopter to strike the enemy position which allowed the safe evacuation of the casualty.

William said: “It was a massive relief when he got away on the helicopter, but we were still in a difficult situation – there was no way we were moving.

“That was the next problem for us, and so I had already switched focus: we had air support, so we held back and we got the IED experts into search for our way out.”

William’s citation reads: “His ability to take charge of a situation which he had never experienced before, deal with a deadly insurgent attack and protect the lives of the remainder of the patrol and of the helicopter was a display of the very highest gallantry.”

William, who now lives in Catterick, joined the Army in 2008 after a few years helping to run his family’s pub.

He was commissioned two years later. He said his family were surprised at his honour, but really proud.

“I joined the Army quite late in life. I used to have asthma but grew out of that probably because I trained as a boxer.

“There have been so many moments where I have asked myself how I ended up here, but working in a pub does prepare you quite well.”

The Military Cross is the third highest level of recognition for gallantry, leadership and bravery on active operations.


  1. someone who was there says:

    The story behind this is all completely wrong he didnt play nearly as big a part in this incident as its been made out there are several people that played a bigger part and deserve an mc way more

  2. Really proud of him, I used to teach him guitar in Audlem when he was no taller than a guitar, he ended up getting up on stage playing the songs i taught him in front of a good size crowd with no sign of nerves, well done Bill.

  3. Corinne Finnan says:

    Well done Bill, all your old regulars at the Lion are so proud of you and waiting to buy you several pints when we next see you! xx

  4. Congratulations to my old sparring partner. A man who always had a top level honourable character I’d expect nothing less from him!

  5. tim fredericks says:

    Well done, Billy.

    He’s one of the nicest people you could wish to meet; I’m a club secretary/coach at his old boxing club.

    Best wishes, Billy, from Tim.

  6. nigel vandyck says:

    If the beer in your pub is as brave as you are please send me a grid reference! Very well done!!

  7. Helen Hewitt says:

    Congratulations. What a very brave man. His family must be rightly proud. Stay safe.

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