A soldier from Hayes was presented with a campaign medal by the Duke of York after a demanding eight-month of tour in Helmand.
Staff Sergeant Jamie Webb serves with cavalry regiment of the British Army, the 9th/12th Royal Lancers.
He grew up in Hayes and went to Mellow Lane School, now Hewens College in Hewens Road.
He is now based in Hohne, Germany, with his wife Vicky and children George, seven and two-year-old Sienna, but Sgt Webb’s parents still live in the town he grew up in.
During a unique parade in Fretoy, France, on September 7, his Afghanistan campaign medal was presented to him by the Regiment’s Colonel-in-Chief, His Royal Highness Prince Andrew.
The timing of the ceremony was fitting, exactly 100 years to the day that the 9th Queen’s Lancers, a forebear of Sergeant Webb’s regiment, found itself in the last major Lance on Lance action of the First World War when they engaged with the German 1st Garde Dragoner Regiment in September 1914.
A remembrance service for three 9th Queen’s Lancers buried in the village cemetery was held before the soldiers marched through Fretoy in front of villagers, friends and family.
The Duke of York said: “It is a great pleasure to be here today to coincide with events that occurred 100 years ago.
“I for one want to thank you for your personal commitment and dedication to the Crown, to thank you for the service you have made in Afghanistan. Congratulations on a very very well conducted tour of duty. It gives me great pleasure to now present you with your Operational Service Medals.”
Sergeant Webb, who has been in the army for more than 18 years, said: “It was an honour to receive my medal from the Duke of York and it was fantastic to see His Royal Highness taking the time to mix and speak with our families who are here.”
Mrs Webb said watching her husband be presented with his medal was an extremely proud moment.
“I did get a little emotional when I saw Prince Andrew speaking with Jamie and I was delighted that I and our children had the opportunity to talk with him as well,” she said.
During his eight month tour, Sgt Webb was based at Camp Bastion to support British-led “Task Force Helmand” as radio systems Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant in charge of communication between 17 army units.
His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Slack, said of the medal ceremony: “It is an immensely proud day for the Regiment and speaking personally I am hugely proud of the service my soldiers have given over the last few years and in Afghanistan.
“We are delighted that our families and friends were able to be here to commemorate the events with us on such a poignant day.”