Royal Anglian soldier honoured for Afghan bomb discoveries
PUBLISHED: 08:09 22 March 2013 | UPDATED: 08:09 22 March 2013
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A soldier from Norwich who discovered stashes of explosives and weapons in Afghanistan has been honoured for his brilliant work.
Private Lewis Treloar, 23, of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, was made an MBE after he cracked an Afghan insurgent code to find at least 40 major stores of improved explosive devices (IEDs) and weapons. Pte Treloar joined the Army in 2009 and was on his second tour of Afghanistan, this time as a lead IED searcher.
Within a month of familiarising himself with the ground at the isolated east Kopak region, he cracked the insurgents’ coded warning signs, which they used to alert each other to the presence of hidden devices. He said: “I had a lot of experience from my previous tour and I would think about where I might hide something. Then, if we got a reading on a metal detector there, we would dig and we started finding weapons.”
Pte Treloar quickly shared his information with other units in the area. It saw a dramatic increase in the rate soldiers discovered IED stashes and he added: “It’s a buzz when something comes out of the ground; it’s exciting.”
His citation reads: “This denial of lethal aid to the insurgents came at an important time and left the insurgents unable to re-establish themselves.”
The citation goes on to commend Pte Treloar’s ability to build friendships with the local community. As his popularity grew, locals sought him out to tell him what they knew about the insurgents in the area.
The citation concludes: “The overall effect that Treloar has had on the local campaign was remarkable and worthy of recognition. His courage, professionalism and selfless dedication have been a shining example to all.”
Pte Treloar, who is married to Jasmine and has two daughters, Maisy, two, and Florrie, seven months, said of his MBE: “It wasn’t something that I was expecting; I’m a bit shocked. It’s one of the biggest things that’s ever happened to me. But the real reward is seeing these weapons off the streets. I knew we were doing good out there and could see what we were achieving.”
Pte Treloar volunteered for his role as lead IED searcher, even though his wife was expecting their second child when he deployed. He said: “She was not very happy about the risks I was taking, but she understands why.”
The latest awards are to be presented later this year, but were announced at a ceremony at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, in Surrey, yesterday. Other honours announced were for meritorious service.