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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Eight of nine lives used…

… this guy needs to buy a cat and take some well deserved ‘chill time’ for, oh, the rest of his life maybe?

“So I got down with my back to the grenade and used my body as a shield. It was a case of either having four of us as fatalities or badly wounded – or one. I brought my legs up to my chest in the brace position and waited for the explosion.”

The short version: he set off a booby-trap (the old tripwire/grenade shtick) in the middle of his patrol, jumped on the grenade and his body armour and the stuff in his backpack took the brunt of the explosion. Other than getting blown through the air, this Royal Marine walked away pretty much in one piece. Fortitude and insane luck are a very cool combination.

Let me offer the Lance Corporal a career suggestion: head back to civilian life and get a job doing endorsements for a certain backpack manufacturer.

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13 comments to Eight of nine lives used…

  • Tim Sturm

    Fortitude…or absolute heroism.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes indeed.

  • CFM

    Is it difficult, I wonder, for this fellow to walk long distances with those big brass balls in his knickers?

  • permanentexpat

    A brave man…there are very few left.

  • krm

    I would have immediately invested a few quid in lotto tickets that day.

    They say that a poor plan well executed is better than no plan at all.

  • Eric

    Wow. I might be able to do it, but it would take far longer than six seconds to work up the courage (if ever).

  • Nick M

    Good point Eric.

    I was going to say something similar but it disappeared when my wifi took a break.

    It isn’t even working up the courage. Not only was L Cpl Croucher undoubtedly very brave he acted rationally and very quickly indeed.

    And yes, it was rational. Doing nothing or running away would have killed him and his mates. He tried a high-risk strategy and it worked. That’s not just brave it’s inspired.

    Regardless of whether or not he gets the VC I very much doubt he’ll be buying many drinks in the mess for quite some time.

  • You have got to hand it to the guy.

    He was brave, thought quickly – and put his mates before himself.

    In this case the reward was that they all survived instead of injury, or death for them all.

    My (metaphorical) hat off to him.

  • Julian Taylor

    He’s been nominated for the Victoria Cross for selfless bravery – let’s hope he gets it.

  • Tim Sturm

    It wasn’t really a “selfless” act though was it. And wouldn’t have been quite so impressive if it were.

    I would call it a “selfish” act of an incredibly brave man in pursuit of his highest values.

  • Ken

    On This Day … in 1855 & 1879
    At Sevastopol, Major Elton of the 55th Regiment led a counter-attack against Russians who had sallied from the fortress to destroy siege works. Meanwhile, Private Coffey of the 34th Regiment saved the lives of many of his comrades when he picked up a live shell that had landed in a crowded trench and managed to throw it clear before it exploded. Both men received the Victoria Cross.

    Apparently, it,s a bit of tredition(sp)
    Would that I were worthy to be of this brave, rational mans team..