Falkirk soldier is hailed a hero

Private Jarred Anthoney Afghanistan
Private Jarred Anthoney Afghanistan

A hero soldier tried to save three Afghans just days after his own brush with death.

Private Jarred Anthoney used his first aid skills, learned as a schoolboy in Falkirk, when the badly injured trio, including two children, was brought into his base in Afghanistan.

His efforts came shortly after he escaped by inches being shot in the face.

Now the 24-year-old and his colleagues in Delta Company, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, are preparing to complete an arduous six-month tour in the troubled province.

Waiting to welcome him home is his anxious mum, Lorraine (48), who admits it has been a trying time knowing her only son was on the front line in one of the world’s most dangerous hot spots.

She said: “I’m very proud of him and all that he is doing, but I must admit that it has been very difficult.

“He tries to protect me from a lot of what is going on, but he tends to give his friends the true picture and it gets back to me eventually.

“I will be so relieved to have him home safe.”

This week, the private, whose passing out parade was in October 2009, told how he was almost a casualty himself.

Along with others from his patrol, he was taking cover in an irrigation ditch as they came under fire from insurgents.

He said: “I could see this guy 900 metres away in the tree line. He was getting down in the prone position, watching us.

“As I passed the binoculars to the corporal, several rounds hit the ground in front of us. They were inches away. I fired back. Everyone fired back.

“If they had shot three inches higher, it would have hit one of us in the face.”

Civil servant Lorraine spoke to her son last Friday, hours after his first aid had been put to the test.

She said: “He helped treat an Afghan police officer who had stood on an IED (Improvised Explosive Device), then a child, who was only about six or seven, was brought in by his family after a drowning incident and he did CPR on them. Sadly, neither survived.

“Jarred was quite upset but I told him that he had tried to save them and had done his best. He had stepped up to the mark when needed and no-one could ask more of him.”

Then on Tuesday this week a two-year-old Afghan child was brought into the base following a car accident and the private was again called on to do CPR, but again without success.

Private Anthoney was taught first aid as a teenager when he was involved in setting up the skatepark at Bells Meadow.

His mum added: “He got training at that time when he was chairman of the steering group to be able to deal with any injuries.

‘‘We never thought he would be called on to deal with it in these circumstances.”