Norfolk soldier in touching image of Afghanistan evacuation

Evacuation of Kabul Sgt Chris Hill

Sgt Chris Hall, from Belton, fist-pumps a young boy as he boards an evacuation plane at Kabul airport. - Credit: MOD

A powerful photograph featuring a Norfolk soldier fist-pumping a child in Kabul has become one of the defining images of the Afghan evacuation.

It features RAF Sgt Chris Hall, from Belton, greeting a boy as he boards a C17 military aircraft as part of the British effort to take people out of the country.

The picture of the 39-year-old has appeared on newspaper front pages and on the Ministry of Defence's Instagram page, gaining almost 10,000 likes and portraying, what his mother described as, "a very human picture".

Evacuation of Kabul

The airlift underway from Hamid Karzai International Airport. Sgt Chris Hall from Belton is part of a key team leading the evacuation. - Credit: MOD

Annie Hall, 68, said she and husband Ian were "proud but anxious" over their son's involvement in the evacuation and keen to celebrate the actions of Norfolk troops "in the thick of it".

Sgt Hall, who is based in Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, with the UK Mobile Air Movements Squadron (UKMAMS), travelled to the country around 10 days ago as part of a logistics team tasked with flying British nationals and Afghans out of the country and moving freight in and out of Kabul.

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The Norwich City fan, who keeps a keen eye on the scores, grew up in Belton with his parents and sister attending local schools and East Norfolk Sixth Form College. He joined the RAF aged 22.

Him being a father of two young sons, aged eight and 10, shone through in the picture, his mother said.

Evacuation of Kabul

Image issued by the Ministry of Defence documenting the involvement of British troops in the evacuation from Kabul after the Taliban took the capital on August 15. - Credit: MOD

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"He loves his boys," she said. "And he will want to make sure the children there are getting as good an experience as they can.

"It is a very human picture. It's a powerful picture. A friend said to me that it speaks a thousand words, and that is true.

"We are very proud, but that does not take away our anxiety about the dangers that are still there.

"We are concerned, obviously, but I am sure everyone will be home safely.

British troops in Kabul

Image issued by the Ministry of Defence of British troops in Kabul. - Credit: MOD

"He cannot say too much about his involvement but he is in a supportive role trying to load up the people that need to be coming home.

"We are anxious when we see the pictures on the news, but also so full of pride.

"They are all doing such a fantastic job bringing the people back that need to be back here.

"But it is very very sad to see the people there and what they are going through. It must be horrendous."

British troops in Kabul

The mother of a Norfolk serviceman has praised the role of British troops in the evacuation of Kabul. Her son Sgt Chris Hall is playing an important role in the evacuation. - Credit: MOD

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