Kieran to get honour for rescue after crash

Corporal Kieran Haig from Galashiels, serving with 2 SCOTS.
Corporal Kieran Haig from Galashiels, serving with 2 SCOTS.

A Borders soldier credited with potentially saving three colleagues’ lives is being awarded a Queen’s commendation for valuable service.

Corporal Kieran Haig, 25, of Galashiels, is a member of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, known as 2 Scots for short.

The former Burgh Primary and Galashiels Academy pupil and piper with Galashiels Ex-Service Pipe Band is being recognised for “showing leadership above and beyond his rank” while serving in Afghanistan last year.

Kieran joined up at the age of 17 with the Royal Scots Borderers, alias 1 Scots, back in 2009.

Since then, he has seen service in Sierra Leone, Bosnia, Afghanistan twice and Northern Ireland.

Now based in Penicuik in Midlothian, Kieran is doing a two-year stint instructing at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

It was while serving with 1 Scots on a six-month deployment to Kabul last September that his resourcefulness gained him royal recognition.

“He was out on a normal, routine job, providing force protection to Nato trainers who were there training Afghan soldiers,” a British Army spokesperson explained.

“Everywhere they went was under the protection of 1 Scots.

“During an incident, he showed leadership above and beyond his rank. He stepped up to a position above his own, and he did it well, potentially saving three lives.”

Kieran’s routine day was turned upside down when a road traffic collision involving an Army vehicle left four of his colleagues injured.

“There was one casualty stuck in the wagon, and I had to free him from there,” Kieran explained. “I then had to prioritise who were the worst casualties and co-ordinate the casualty evacuation in the best manner possible.

“To be honest, it’s just in my nature to have that leadership and command, to get a bad situation and turn it into a good situation on a bad day.”

The Queen’s commendation for valuable service recognises meritorious actions during, or in support of, operations. Recipients are chosen by an independent rewards committee outwith the military.

Extremely proud to hear of his award, Kieran added: “There was talk about it after the situation, and I knew I was getting put forward for something. To be honoured with this is great.”

Equally delighted is his mum Emma Thomson, fiancee Kirsty Easson, both of Galashiels, and his brother Liam Haig who lives in Kelso.

They will be invited to see Kieran presented with his award, a small silver leaf to attach to his tour medal, by a member of the royal family or a senior officer in the near future.