She stands precisely 5ft tall in her everyday shoes and her smile is disarmingly sweet.
Kate Nesbitt doesn’t immediately fit the image of a fearless military hero, not off the battlefield at least.
But there are probably few people a critically injured soldier would rather meet in the chaos of a desert gunfight than this 21-yearold blonde in full flight.
Bravery: Kate Nesbitt receives the Military Cross from the Prince of Wales during investitures at Buckingham Palace in London. And the sight of her sprinting through an Afghan war zone under heavy machine gun fire is almost certainly one that Lance Corporal John List will remember for the rest of a life he now owes to her astonishing display of courage
Kate, a medical assistant serving as an Able Seaman with the Royal Navy, raced 70 yards to the stricken soldier’s side as he nearly choked to death from a gunshot wound to the mouth. She cut open a temporary airway and treated him for 45 minutes as rockets whizzed overhead and bullets thudded into the ground nearby.
Yesterday her ‘inspirational’ bravery was rewarded at Buckingham Palace when she became the Navy’s first woman to be invested with the Military Cross. Then, with a few modest words, she underlined the remarkable spirit of loyalty that bonds Britain’s servicemen and women on the front line. ‘I promised my friends and comrades I’d be their medic,’ she said. ‘I promised I’d be there if they ever needed me. They needed me that day – so when the call came, that’s just what I did.’
Kate, from Whitleigh, Plymouth, stepped into the history books as only the second woman to be awarded the MC, one of Britain’s highest gallantry awards, as well as becoming the only MC Wren. Presenting her award, the Prince of Wales bowed to what he called her ‘extraordinary’ heroism.
Her citation read: ‘Under fire and under pressure her commitment and courage were inspirational and made the difference between life and death.’
My UTMOST RESPECT young lady.