SOLDIER Richard Pask is the pride of Gwent after being awarded one of the most prestigious military honours for his bravery under fire in Iraq.

Corporal Pask, 27, from Cwmbran, was back home in the arms of his proud parents Steve and Jane last night after being told he will receive the Military Cross.

The Royal Welsh soldier led his six-strong team to safety after their tank was blown up by insurgents in Basra last year.

Despite having concussion and head and back injuries from the blast, Corporal Pask and his men took part in a six-hour firefight with insurgents.

He is one of four Welsh soldiers receiving honours for their courage.

"I was shocked to receive the honour. It's happened to me but there are a lot of other people in my regiment it could have happened to," he said.

"But I'm proud and so are my family. I will wear it with pride."