Volunteer soldier from Halifax honoured at medal ceremony attended by royalty

A BRAVE volunteer soldier from Halifax was among those honoured at a medals ceremony attended by royalty today.

Corporal Simon Kenyon from 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment shook hands with the regiment’s colonel-in-chief Prince Andrew at the medal-giving in York.

The 30-year-old returned from a six-month tour of Afghanistan just last month.

“It was pretty rough at first,” he said.

“A soldier got killed at a checkpoint while we were there.

“We did a lot of patrols and we were finding a lot of IEDs (improvised explosive devices).”

Corporal Kenyon joined the Territorial Army in 1999 and this was his second service in Afghanistan.

He first qualified for the operational service medal being presented in York on Thursday on his first visit to the country.

He has also been out to Iraq and Kosovo.

Corporal Kenyon used to work in the customer service department of Lloyds Banking Group but had to leave his role when he received notice of the most recent tour of duty.

He has a grandmother and cousin who also live in Calderdale, and the rest of his family are in New Zealand.

“The territorial army is great because it’s something different and because of the lads and the camaraderie.

“I’m closer to my mates in the army than I am to my family.

“When we were out in Afghanistan, your actions have an impact on whether the lad next to you lives or dies.

“You don’t have that in any other work place.”

He added he was pleased to have been invited to the ceremony in York and to be back in Halifax.

“It’s great being home,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about where you’re walking.”