HER Royal Highness Princess Anne has presented the Elizabeth Cross to the family of Lance Corporal Liam Tasker from Tayport who was killed in Afghanistan in March.
Liam’s mother Jane Duffy collected the medal together with his father Ian Tasker, his brother Ian, his two sisters Laura and Nicola, and his girlfriend Leah.
The presentation was held at a private ceremony at the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
Jane said: “It was a great honour to receive the Elizabeth Cross from Princess Anne.
“It has been a memorable and emotional day, but also a very proud occasion.”
Lance Corporal Tasker was just 26 when he was shot by a Taliban sniper while on duty in Helmand Province with his beloved springer spaniel Theo, who died of a seizure soon after returning to Camp Bastion.
During their five-month tour of duty, the pair had searched out a record number of explosive devices and saved countless lives.
Liam had been deployed to Afghanistan last September as part of the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment.
Having trained as an Arms and Explosives Search dog handler, he was attached to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards in February.
Liam and Theo were hailed as heroes by Colonel Neil Smith, the commanding officer of the Royal Veterinary Corps, at a ‘bittersweet’ ceremony in Rutland last month during which Liam’s campaign medals were presented to his mum.
The Elizabeth Cross was introduced in 2009 to give recognition to bereaved families of soldiers killed on operations, or as a result of terrorist actions since January 1, 1948.
Each individual cross carries the name of the soldier, sailor or craftsman who died serving his country.
The Defence Animal Centre is responsible for the procurement and training of all military working dogs, and delivering dog handler courses, from explosive detection dog handler through to protection dog and police dog training.