7 Dec 2011

Soldiers honoured for acts of bravery in Afghanistan

4:34 am on 7 December 2011

New Zealand soldiers have been recognised for their acts of bravery during an insurgent attack in which their patrol commander was killed in Afghanistan.

An investiture ceremony was held at Government House in Wellington on Tuesday afternoon.


The Governor-General, Lieutenant-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, recognised the gallantry of the three soldiers involved in the attack in August last year.

They were part of a patrol led by Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell, who was killed when an improvised explosive device hit his vehicle in Bamyan province.

Corporal Albert Moore has been awarded the New Zealand Gallantry Star, which is a level below the Victoria Cross.

Lance Corporal Allister Baker and Corporal Matthew Ball received the next level, the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration.

The trio were fired on for 35 minutes while trying to rescue their leader. Corporal Ball told Checkpoint on Tuesday that he just wanted to help Lieutenant O'Donnell.

"I'm honoured that people that were outside of that situation thought what we did was extremely extraordinary, I suppose.

"But for me at the time, that had nothing to do with it. It was all about just getting him because ... I didn't want to leave him behind."

About 50 people attended the ceremony, including the family of Lieutenant O'Donnell.