Private Johnson Beharry was born in Grenada, and has four
brothers and three sisters. He moved to the UK in 1999.
He joined the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment in August
2001. After training at Catterick, he became a driver of
Warrior armoured vehicles in C Company, 1st Battalion. Prior
to Iraq, he served for six months in Kosovo and three months
in Northern Ireland.
On 1 May 2004, Beharry was driving a Warrior Tracked Armoured
Vehicle that had been called to the assistance of a foot
patrol caught in a series of ambushes. The Warrior was hit
by multiple rocket propelled grenades, causing damage and
resulting in the loss of radio communications. The platoon
commander, the vehicle's gunner and a number of other soldiers
in the vehicle were injured. Beharry drove through the ambush,
taking his own crew and leading five other Warriors to safety.
He then extracted his wounded colleagues from the vehicle,
all the time exposed to further enemy fire. He was cited
on this occasion for "valour of the highest order".
While back on duty on 11 June 2004, Beharry was again driving
the lead Warrior vehicle of his platoon through Al Amarah
when his vehicle was ambushed. A rocket propelled grenade
hit the vehicle and Beharry received serious head injuries.
Other rockets hit the vehicle incapacitating his commander
and injuring several of the crew. Despite his very serious
injuries, Beharry then took control of his vehicle and drove
it out of the ambush area before losing consciousness. He
required brain surgery for his head injuries, and he was
still recovering when he was awarded the VC in March 2005.
Part of his citation reads:
"For his repeated extreme gallantry and unquestioned
valour, despite intense direct attacks, personal injury
and damage to his vehicle in the face of relentless enemy
action, Private Beharry deserves the highest possible recognition."
He has been quoted as saying,
" "Maybe I was brave, I don't know. At the time
I was just doing the job, I didn't have time for other thoughts."