Bryan Budd, VC, died on Sunday 20th August 2006 as a result of injuries sustained during a fire fight with Taliban forces in Sangin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The incident occurred whilst on a routine patrol close to the District Centre. Three other British soldiers were injured in the incident but their injuries are not thought to be life threatening.
Bryan James Budd, 29, served as a Corporal in 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment
Corporal Bryan James Budd was born on 16 July 1977 and lived in Ripon, North Yorks with his wife Lorena and their two year old daughter Isabelle. Cpl Budd had been in the Army for 10 years, since December 1995. He enjoyed a distinguished career, enlisting into the Parachute Regiment then passing the rigorous selection process for 16 Air Assault Brigadeís Pathfinder Platoon, an elite unit specially trained for long range reconnaissance missions.
Whilst part of that platoon he served in many operational theatres including Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Macedonia, Afghanistan and Iraq. In May 2002 he passed his Section Commanderís Battle Course with distinction, and was on the cusp of promotion to Platoon Sergeant. He was a qualified Army Combat Survival Instructor, rock climber and freefall parachutist. In 2004 Cpl Budd was posted to the Army Foundation College in Harrogate where it was his responsibility to help train young future soldiers. He joined A Company, 3 PARA, in early June 2006 serving in Helmand Province.
A talented and hardworking soldier, Cpl Budd was the consummate professional. Universally liked and admired, he was a shining example to those under his command, demonstrating great courage in the face of adversity. He had a keen sense of humour and a natural ability for lightening the mood.
Softly spoken and gracious, he was never hurried or flustered and took everything in his stride. Living in such a beautiful part of the world he loved the outdoors and would spend whatever time he could there. However, his keenest passion was for his family of which he was incredibly proud. He leaves behind his wife Lorena and daughter Isabelle. The couple were looking forward to the birth of their second child in September.
Cpl Buddís Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Tootal, said of him:
"Cpl Bryan Budd was an outstanding young man who had quickly risen through the ranks in the Regiment. Extremely popular, he had a calm and professional manner that inspired confidence in all that worked with him; a natural leader. Bryan died doing the job he loved, leading his men from the front, where he always was.
"Bryan was proud to call himself a Paratrooper and we were proud to stand beside him. One of the very best in all respects, he will be sadly missed by all his comrades in 3 PARA and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."
Cpl Budd leaves behind him a gap that will never be filled. A father, husband, son and a great friend to many. He will never be forgotten.
[ London Gazette, 14 December 2006 ], Sangin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 27 July & 20 August 2006, Corporal Bryan Budd, 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment ( 3 PARA ).
During July and August 2006, 'A' Company, 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment were deployed in the District Centre at Sangin. They were constantly under sustained attack from a combination of Taliban small arms, rocket-propelled grenades, mortar and rocket fire.
On 27 July 2006, whilst on a routine patrol, Corporal Bryan Budd's section identified and engaged two enemy gunmen on the roof of a building in the centre of Sangin. During the ensuing fierce fire-fight, two of Corporal Budd's section were hit. One was seriously injured and collapsed in the open ground, where he remained exposed to enemy fire, with rounds striking the ground around him. Corporal Budd realised that he needed to regain the initiative and that the enemy needed to be driven back so that the casualty could be evacuated.
Under fire, he personnally led the attack on the building where the enemy fire was heaviest, forcing the remaining fighters to flee across an open field where they were successfully engaged. This courageous and prompt action proved decisive in breaking the enemy and was undertaken at great personal risk. Corporal Budd's decisive leadership and conspicuous gallantry allowed his wounded colleague to be evacuated to safety where he subsequently received life-saving treatment.
A month later, on 20 August 2006, Corporal Budd was leading his section on the right forward flank of a platoon clearance patrol near Sangin District Centre. Another section was advancing with a Land Rover fitted with a .50 calibre heavy machine gun on the patrol's left flank. Pushing through thick vegetation, Corporal Budd identified a number of enemy fighters 30 metres ahead. Undetected, and in an attempt to surprise and destroy the enemy, Corporal Budd, initiated a flanking manoeuvre. However, the enemy spotted the Land Rover on the left flank and the element of surprise was lost for the whole platoon.
In order to regain the initiative, Corporal Budd decided to assault the enemy and ordered his men to follow him. As they moved forward the section came under a withering fire that incapacitated three of his men. The continued enemy fire and these losses forced the section to take cover. But, Corporal Budd continued to assault on his own, knowing full well the likely consequences of doing so without the close support of his remaining men. He was wounded but continued to move forward, attacking and killing the enemy as he rushed their position.
Inspired by Corporal Budd's example, the rest of the platoon reorganised and pushed forward their attack, eliminating more of the enemy and eventually forcing their withdrawal. Corporal Budd subsequently died of his wounds, and when his body was later recovered it was found surrounded by three dead Taliban.
Corporal Budd's conspicuous gallantry during these two engagements saved the lives of many of his colleagues. He acted in the full knowledge that the rest of his men had either been struck down or had been forced to go to ground. His determination to press home a single-handed assault against a superior enemy force despite his wounds stands out as a premeditated act of inspirational leadership and supreme valour. In recognition of this, Corporal Budd is awarded the Victoria Cross.