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Iraq war hero to sell off his medals as he battles with post-traumatic stress disorder

By David Young

Published 05/03/2016

Sgt Trevor Coult with the medals he has put up for auction
Sgt Trevor Coult with the medals he has put up for auction
Trevor Coult meeting the Queen
Trevor Coult with President Bush

An Iraq war hero from Belfast is putting his medals up for sale as he battles a new enemy - post-traumatic stress disorder.

Former sergeant Trevor Coult (41) was awarded the Military Cross in 2006 for his bravery in a machine-gun ambush involving suicide bombers and gunmen in Baghdad.

Three armed insurgents stopped his multi-vehicle convoy on a stretch of road billed as the most dangerous in the world, opening fire on the stationary vehicles.

Acting as top cover sentry in the rear vehicle, he managed to return fire and control his vehicle, allowing two other convoy crews to retreat.

The former Royal Irish Regiment soldier, who now lives in Suffolk, said: "Every day is such a struggle for me. Over the past few years I've lost six ex-colleagues to suicide."

Trevor, who has a wife, Luba, and a five-year-old son, Sebastian, added: "The medals bring back bad memories for me. I've put them up for sale as someone will enjoy them more than me."

The Military Cross is the Army's third highest honour, behind the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross and the Victoria Cross.

Trevor's commanding officer, Lt Colonel Michael McGovern, described him as being "an outstanding young man of courage".

He was later honoured by both the Queen and former American President George Bush.

Sgt Coult became a member of the UK Protection Force based in Baghdad, and he was hand-picked for Operation Mountain Thrust. The Ranger, nicknamed 'Speedie', and his squad also helped retake the town of Sangin.

He felt that he first noticed the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in 2005 but was not diagnosed until 2009.

"You serve your country and end up feeling like I do," Trevor said.

Towards the end of his career, he went to Afghanistan to "look after" captured insurgents, mainly Taliban.

Sgt Coult, who left the Army in February 2015, said: "I spent every day with these people and couldn't help wondering how many of my colleagues they had killed. I must admit it got to me a bit."

He added that the money raised from the sale of the medals would be put into a bank account for his son.

Auctioneers Lockdales are expecting them to make more than £35,000 when they are auctioned on March 19. The collection that is set go under the hammer includes eight other medals, pictures, badges, maps, diaries and a copy of the Belfast soldier's book, First into Sangin.

Sgt Coult's medals

Military Cross

Iraq Medal

Operational Service Medal, with Afghanistan clasp

Golden Jubilee Medal

Diamond Jubilee Medal

NATO Services Medal, with ISAF clasp

The USA President’s

Medallion

Two Accumulated

Campaign Services Medal

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