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A former Huddersfield soldier who showed extraordinary heroism in an Afghan minefield is to feature in a new film.
The story of a group of seven wounded soldiers has been captured in the film Kajaki: The True Story, to be released at the end of the month.
One of the soldiers was army medic Lance Cpl Paul Hartley, formerly of Kirkburton. He went to the aid of stricken colleagues and his bravery was honoured when the Queen presented him with the George Medal.
The independent film – dubbed “a modern British war film” – tells of soldiers from the Parachute Regiment who were trapped in a minefield while stationed at Kajaki Dam in Afghanistan in 2006.
A three-man patrol was sent out to disable a Taliban road block but one set off a mine, blowing his leg off.
Fellow soldiers went to his aid, only to find themselves trapped in a minefield, a relic from the Russian invasion of the 1980s.
Cpl Mark Wright was killed and posthumously received the George Cross for his actions that day. Seven others were seriously wounded.
Cpl Wright and two others were tended by Lance Cpl Hartley, who risked his life despite being told to wait for help.
He crossed the minefield by throwing his backpack in front of him and jumping on to it. He did this eight times but as he reached Cpl Wright another mine went off, injuring them both.
Lance Cpl Hartley suffered injuries to his chest, arms and legs. He also suffered ‘blast lung’, which caused breathing difficulties.
However, he managed to treat Cpl Wright, taking off his own T-shirt to stem the blood. He also threw medical equipment to other wounded comrades, shouting instructions on how to use it.
The film had its world premiere at the Vue West End cinema in London’s Leicester Square on Wednesday.
A preview will be screened at Vue in The Light, Leeds, on November 24 before a general release through Vue cinemas at the end of the month.
A former student at Shelley High School, Lance Cpl Hartley, 33, left the army in 2008 and now lives in the West Country.
When film director Paul Katis and scriptwriter Tom Williams approached him about Kajaki, he thought they were joking.
“You don’t make films about people like me,” he told them.