St Albans soldier auctioning war medals for £100,000

Simon Moloney being treated for the neck wound.

Simon Moloney being treated for the neck wound. - Credit: Archant

An Afghanistan war hero who survived a gunshot wound through his neck is auctioning off his rare service medals for £100,000.

Simon Moloney (on the left) with Wesley Masters (right), who saved his life

Simon Moloney (on the left) with Wesley Masters (right), who saved his life - Credit: Archant

In 2013 St Albans local Lance Corporal of Horse Simon Moloney was serving with the Blues and Royals when he was shot through the neck by Taliban fighters.

Although the bullet missed his vital arteries and voice box by millimetres, Simon was thrown from an eight foot roof. He only survived the fall by landing on a goat, who was not so lucky.

Simon said it felt like he had been punched: “By rights I should be dead now. At the moment I was shot there was blood pouring from my neck and I thought I had about 30 seconds to live.

“I was hit by a tracer round from about 400 metres, it was a decent shot. Naturally I thought I was going to die because the wound was such a serious one.”

The Taliban bullet had parted Simon’s trachea and carotid artery and the surgeon who later treated him said he would struggle to make that incision on an operating table.

With just a bandage on the wound, Simon went back into the field and fought for an hour and a half in 40C, still shouting information despite his throat injury and only stopping when ordered to.

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For this feat, he was awarded one of only 59 Conspicuous Gallantry Crosses ever issued since the decoration was instituted in 1993.

The 27-year-old will use the auction money to bolster his business, setting up equipment for television outside broadcasts.

He said: “I am incredibly proud of my medals and what they represent.

“The money that I hope to raise by selling my medals is life changing for someone in my position and will help to set me up for the future now that I have returned to civilian life.”

The cross was the last to be awarded for the Afghanistan war, and a fellow soldier who rushed to Simon’s aid, Wesley Masters, received a Military Cross.

Simon said: “I owe him [Wesley] my life and have complete trust in him.”

Simon’s cross and Operational Service Medal are being sold with the original documentation including the recipient’s citation and a number of press cuttings.