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12.12.09

Hero Royal Marine proposes at Buckingham Palace after receiving medal for bravery

An heroic Royal Marine asked his girlfriend to marry him at Buckingham Palace today - moments after being awarded a medal for bravery.

Corporal Bradley Malone, 24, popped the question to Sacha Wilkinson, 24, after being honoured by the Prince of Wales.

Cpl Malone, commended for outstanding bravery in the face of three separate Taliban attacks - including leading a bayonet charge - got down on one knee at the prestigious investiture ceremony.

Corporal
Engaged: Corporal Bradley Malone and Sacha Wilkinson outside Buckingham Palace where he proposed

The 45 Commando warrior turned the award of the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for displaying 'fighting prowess and gallantry' in Afghanistan into a double celebration.

 
Cpl Malone, who has been in a relationship with his hairdresser girlfriend for three years, proposed in one of the rooms in the Palace.

He said: 'When you're going out to Afghanistan, you reflect on a lot of things in your life. You don't want any missed opportunities or have anything you might regret.

Corporal Corporal

Double celebration: Cpl Malone got down on one knee to Sacha after receiving a medal by Prince Charles, right


Corporal
'Time to reflect': Cpl Malone was commended for outstanding bravery in three separate Taliban attacks

'I was going to propose on Bonfire Night, as that was the day we met, but, when I found out I was going to receive the honour, I decided to wait and do it at the Palace because I thought this would be an occasion we would remember and never forget.'

Miss Wilkinson, form Loch Lomand, Scotland, said: 'I'm surprised, really surprised and delighted, now it's a double celebration.'

Cpl Malone won his bravery medal for displaying exceptional bravery on three separate occasions during his recent six-month tour to Helmand Province which ended in April.

Corporal
'Surprised and delighted': Sacha accepted Cpl Malone's proposal after he was honoured for bravery

During the first incident, Cpl Malone's unit was ambushed by insurgents. He ordered his comrades bayonet-charge the enemy, who fled in terror.

On a second occasion, he scrambled from the cover of a ditch and dodged a hail of Taliban bullets as he ran to help his troop sergeant who had been isolated from his while trying to fire mortars on the enemy. 


Fighting together, the pair managed to hold off the insurgents and reach safety.

In the final act of bravery, Cpl Malone fired more than 900 rounds as he kept the enemy at bay for an hour while casualties from an explosion which killed his section commander were evacuated


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