Posthumous 'George Cross' for bomb disposal hero Schmid

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London, Mar 14(ANI): A bomb disposal expert, Staff Sgt Olaf Schmid, who was killed on October 31, 2009 as he dealt with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Afghanistan, will receive a posthumous George Cross, the highest civil decoration of the UK.

According to military sources, the Defence Ministry will announce Schmid's gallantry award on Friday.

The award will be welcomed by Schmid's family and friends, who were devastated when he was killed two weeks before he was due to return home for a break with his wife, Christina, and their five-year-old son Laird, The Telegraph reports.

Schmid, of the Royal Logistic Corps serving 2 Rifles Battle Group in Sangin region of Helmand province, had died instantly when the device he was defusing detonated.

He had previously disarmed 64 roadside bombs in five months.

The George Cross was instituted 1940 by George VI and is awarded in recognition of "acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger". Until now, the medal has been awarded 159 times in 70 years.

The medal is the most prestigious award that can be made for an act of bravery not in the face of the enemy. It was originally dubbed "the civilian VC", but in fact it has also been awarded to scores of servicemen. (ANI)

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