The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, will hold a ceremony at Government House in Wellington tomorrow to posthumously confer the Charles Upham Award for Bravery to the late Lance Corporal Leon Smith.
The award is made to the person who has risked their life to undertake an outstanding act of heroism during the previous two calendar years, as determined by the Charles Upham Trust Committee.
Nominations are called for each year from organisations such as the NZ Defence Force, NZ Police, NZ Fire Service, Civil Defence and the Surf Life Saving Association in addition to the public.
On 19 August 2011, Lance Corporal Smith was part of a NZSAS Task Force that responded to an insurgent attack on the British Council Office in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Also present was Corporal Doug Grant, who was tragically killed during the incident.
During the response, Lance Corporal Smith exposed himself to insurgent fire in order to confirm Corporal Grant's location after he had been mortally wounded.
He then ran across exposed and open ground in order to reach Corporal Grants location, and immediately started applying first aid until he could be evacuated.
Lance Corporal Smith was later killed in action on 28 September 2011.
Lance Corporal Smith is the 24th person to receive the Charles Upham Award for Bravery and the fourth member of the New Zealand Defence Force.
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