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Norfolk soldier recognised by the Queen for heroics during Las Vegas shooting

PUBLISHED: 07:35 23 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:11 23 November 2018

Trooper Ross Woodward who serves with The 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards based in Swanton Morley, Norfolk, has been awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery. PHOTO: MoD

Trooper Ross Woodward who serves with The 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards based in Swanton Morley, Norfolk, has been awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery. PHOTO: MoD

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A Norfolk soldier who rushed to help the victims of a mass shooting incident in Las Vegas in 2017 has been recognised by the Queen for his bravery.

Trooper Ross Woodward was enjoying downtime with two fellow soldiers from the Norfolk-based Welsh Cavalry Regiment following a desert training exercise in the Mojave Desert, California, when they heard gunshots at a country music concert.

In the deadliest mass shooting by an individual in US history, Stephen Paddock fired 1,100 rounds from his 32nd-floor hotel room balcony, killing 58 people and injuring 851.

Instead of fleeing, 24-year-old Trooper Woodward bravely led his two fellow soldiers towards the danger, directed people to safety by initially barricading them into a nearby hotel room until he had established the location of the threat, and then guided the petrified group away from the gunfire.

The soldier from the 1st Queen’s Dragoons Guards, who has today been awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery, then moved fearlessly towards the danger at the back of the Mandalay Bay Hotel – even as the relentless shooting continued.

Trooper Woodward moved several people frozen with fear away from the threat. Moving forward with his two colleagues, they encountered more severe casualties, and in the continuing confusion they became separated.

Faced with seriously wounded people, he started to treat them using his battlefield casualty drills training.

After six hours of unrelenting rescue and first-aid work, he was released by the first responders.

His citation reads: “Throughout the incident, Woodward displayed conspicuous bravery, outstanding leadership and unwavering selflessness. He consciously, deliberately and repeatedly advanced towards danger, moving people to safety and treating casualties and there is no doubt that his assistance to the US first responders saved lives.

“His actions were exceptional and he is fully deserving of nationwide recognition.”

Trooper Woodward said: “I’m really honoured but in total disbelief to be honest. I feel that any member of the British Army would have done the same that day.”

The announcement was made yesterday with the release of the latest operational honours and awards list, which includes 30 personnel. It includes awards for worldwide operations for the period from October 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, as well as for non-operational gallantry.

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