Afghanistan war hero Adam Blake from east London honoured by Queen

17:10 10 April 2012

Sapper Adam Blake

Sapper Adam Blake

Archant

Imagine crawling on the ground, in the baking Afghan sun, searching for roadside bombs, knowing that one could detonate at any moment.

Now, imagine doing it every day for three days and relying just on your fingertips, not a specialised piece of equipment.

Army Sapper Adam Blake, only 21, did just that in Helmand. He found a total of five Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), including one that failed to detonate under him. He has been awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.

Fingertips

Adam, a Royal Engineer with 28 Engineer Regiment based in Hameln, Germany, spent days painstakingly searching for IEDs in Gereshk, Helmand, using only his fingertips to gently sweep the ground inch by inch to find devices deliberately designed to go undetected by specialist search equipment.

The sheer volume of IEDs was stopping both the local population and soldiers from moving for fear of the deadly devices.

Under a blazing sun, he began the process as the team’s lead searcher. It was two days before he found his first device, with a second placed metres away.

His citation for the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery states: “With calmness, determination and exemplary bravery, he continued his methodical approach, determined to complete the task in the most physically demanding of conditions which he knew would degrade his reactions. With every find, each one confirming the heightened risk, he volunteered to return and continued without hesitation.”

Discovering his fourth find – the battery pack used to charge the bombs – he soon realised that he had actually crawled over the pressure plate that should have activated the device. Luckily for him, it failed to detonate. Had it done so, the blast would have seriously injured or killed him.

Undeterred, he returned for a third day, working for nine hours in the sun before finding a fifth device.

His citation concludes: “Sapper Blake’s selfless actions in this clearance operation undoubtedly saved the lives of both ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) soldiers and local nationals.

“Returning to search again and again after finding each IED was exceptionally brave. He was acutely aware of the threat and the limited utility of his search equipment. In this extreme situation, he displayed the highest levels of persistent courage over three long, nerve-shattering days.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Gary Barlow and his Take That bandmates will perform on the Strictly Come Dancing finale.

Read more

The British banker has been ruled fit to stand trial after having undergone psychiatric tests.

Read more

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has completed the script for Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.

Read more

Promotions

Gamucci is a global leader and premier brand of electronic cigarettes

Gamucci has an electronic cigarette tailored for every need. We have a range of both disposable and rechargeable electronic cigarettes suitable for all adult smokers. And for a limited time, some great discounts.

Paddington

With Christmas comes a host of movies to the big screen, from festive family comedies to action blockbusters. Here is our pick of the best out next month.

The British banker has been ruled fit to stand trial after having undergone psychiatric tests.

The new legislation is being backed up by an anti-terrorism awareness drive by police forces nationwide.

More than 170,000 tweets have been posted in the last three days using the hashtag #CameronMustGo.

Computer firm Symantec discover malware so sophisticated, they say it suggests government involvement.

Quirky London