Heroics of late soldier

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A WIDOW has praised her heroic husband after he battled to save the life of a Sunderland colleague weeks before his own death.

Wounded by shrapnel in his shoulder, Corporal Lee Brownson pulled two injured comrades to safety after a friendly fire attack by a US Apache helicopter on their patrol base in Sangin, in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

As Cpl Brownson continued to fire on Taliban insurgents attacking the base, he put his life at risk to try and save the life of Lance Corporal Christopher Roney, of Silksworth.

The details of his heroism were revealed last week at the inquest of L/Cpl Roney, 23, who died from head injuries suffered in the attack in December 2009.

Cpl Brownson’s widow Leanne said: “I got a phone call off Lee the next day to say there had been an incident.

“He didn’t explain what had happened. He said there had been casualties.

“It wasn’t until after Lee died that I found out from his commanding officer what he had done.

“We are just so proud of him and humbled.

“I know Lee would have done everything in his best efforts to save his life.

“Lee had numerous acts of gallantry, not just this one. He wouldn’t have given it a second thought to go back and save Chris.”

Leanne’s husband died weeks later in an explosion while on patrol in Sangin.

He was posthumously awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for bravery.