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Taunton soldier Major Matthew Long wins Queen's Gallantry Medal
12:00pm Tuesday 15th October 2013 in News
A BOMB disposal expert who spent ten hours in baking heat preventing the Taliban from blowing up a bridge has been awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.
Major Matthew Long, 39, originally from Taunton, waded neck-high through water before removing his body armour to make safe the Kakar Bridge in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.
Major Long, of the Royal Logistic Corps, was called in to defuse the bomb on a key route to military supplies and local herdsmen after a wire was spotted at the bridge in September last year.
He said: “The device was the most sophisticated I saw in my tour.
“It was pretty daunting, but I just had to get on with it.
“I was thinking, ‘The sooner I get it done the better’.”
Major Long grew up in Taunton, where he lived in Comeytrowe and attended Parkfield Primary and The Castle Schools, before going on to Richard Huish College and then university.
After a spell working for Royal Mail as a manager in Swindon, he joined the Army and has completed two tours of Iraq and three of Afghanistan. He is married to Kirste and the couple, who live in Wiltshire, have a daughter, Alice, aged six, while his parents, Colin and Dee still live in Taunton.
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