Sergeant S P Iszard - MC


Sergeant Iszard was a Rifle Platoon Sergeant in 1st Battalion The Tigers.

On 11th June a search operation in the Al Rusala district of Al Amarah became the largest and most intense battle in Iraq since 2004. A Jaish Al Mahdi force of over 200, re-supplied with arms and reinforced with further militia, attacked constantly, making use of narrow alleyways and roof tops, with Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) and Small Arms Fire (SAF), including sniper, blast bombs and grenades.

Sgt Iszard's platoon operated dismounted in the alleyways and buildings in order to give depth, manoeuvre and deception to the Company group action. He, with a sniper team, moved quickly and unsupported to ensure that the enemy was unable to get into the Company's depth. He led his small team through constant fire to defeat enemy positions in actions that were critical to the battle. On two separate occasions he attacked enemy positions, using his own initiative, during which he moved across open ground in direct enemy fire, with total disregard for his own safety, to allow other dismounted forces to manoeuvre. He also led his team in a one hundred metre assault to defeat a sniper that had previously seriously injured a member of the company, clearing several enemy gunmen and RPG teams in the process. He never looked back and relentlessly pursued each position. He later found himself and his team in a position where they could not move back to the support of the platoon because of heavy enemy fire. He decided to move using a mobile Challenger Tank as cover to a position where the gunmen that had pinned them down could be defeated. A Grenadier Guards captain observing the snipers described the action as 'ludicrously bold'. He had selected a very dangerous but critical course of action, but his decision and subsequent gallantry almost certainly saved several of his platoon's lives.