Injured veterans

From the Battle of Danny Boy to Championing Veterans: The Remarkable Journey of Brian Wood, MC

May 10 2024

The hero of the Battle of Danny Boy has opened up about the operation for which he was awarded a Military Cross, but which also put him in the centre of a national controversy.

Brian Wood was on his first tour of Iraq in 2004 with the 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment when he was sent to help save comrades ambushed by militia at Checkpoint Danny Boy.

Seriously outnumbered, he led his men into the direction of enemy fire across open ground in what became known as the Battle of Danny Boy. His actions that day won him a Military Cross for gallantry.

However, years later he was part of a national inquiry and accused of serious war crimes – accusations that were later dismissed.

Since then, Brian has battled PTSD, had his life story turned into a BBC film and recently helped raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for Walking With The Wounded.

“I just felt let down as well. I couldn’t shift that,” he said, talking about the inquiry. “That was a different type of pressure, which buckled me. It’s just how you manage that. And I wasn’t very good at managing.”

The legal battle was fraught with tension and public scrutiny, casting a long shadow over Wood's personal and professional life. Ultimately, the accusations were dismissed, and he was vindicated. But the psychological toll of these events, compounded by the horrors of war, led Wood to struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“We don’t shout and scream about support that we need, but by God, we need it,” he said.

In the years following his vindication, Wood has not stood still. Turning adversity into advocacy, he has thrown his support behind Walking With The Wounded, a charity dedicated to helping injured veterans rebuild their lives.

In 2021, Brian ran 25 marathons in 25 days in memory of every British soldier who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. A year later, he ran a further 35 marathons in as many days as part of his Ultimate Sacrifice Challenge. He has raised amazing nearly £200,000 for Walking With The Wounded.

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