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Top bravery award for North medic.

A NORTH East Army medic who cared for wounded soldiers under frontline fire has been awarded the nursing equivalent of a Victoria Cross.

Major Janet Pilgrim, of The Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps, who was born in North Shields, has won a Royal Red Cross Medal for her dedication in Iraq last summer.

Under a constant hail of bullets, Maj Pilgrim and her team risked their lives to care for wounded soldiers - many of whom had been maimed or were dying. Now Maj Pilgrim, 42, has received the country's highest military honour for nurses for her courage and compassion.

Janet remained a rock of calm under enemy fire and commanded Basra air base's field hospital from May to September in 2007. Up to 100 rockets and shells landed near to the base each day and while Maj Pilgrim was in command it was badly damaged three times

Janet said of her award: "It's a great honour-but there is no way the award is just for me. I see it as for everyone in my team. None of us had ever been so close to the frontline before. The hardest part was losing people."

Twenty soldiers died in the time Janet commanded the base - which is said to have been the busiest military hospital since the Falklands. There were 411 admissions, with staff treating 92 troops who were wounded in action, 31 of them with life-threatening injuries.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 5, 2008
Words:237
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