Norwich soldier wins top prize

Kim BriscoeA New Costessey soldier has won a top army award after finishing his recruit training.Kim Briscoe

A New Costessey soldier has won a top army award after finishing his recruit training.

Private Sam Ward, 20, has successfully completed the 26-week Combat Infantryman's Course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire.

His platoon commander Lieutenant Will Rackham said: 'Private Ward has been awarded the Soldiers' Soldier prize.

'This prize is awarded to the recruit who his peers think is the best soldier in the platoon.

'He has shown determination and drive from the very first week and has developed well over the course. He has performed well above the standard expected of a recruit and will surely go on to be an invaluable asset to both his battalion and the army.

'This is a huge pat on the back from his fellow recruits.'

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Private Ward received his award at the pass out parade ceremony at the Infantry Training Centre on February 19.

He was a trainee electrician before deciding to join the army.

He said: 'Joining the army was something I'd always wanted to do.

'It took me a while to get through the recruiting process, but I was determined and my mum kept motivating me.

'Now that it's all over, I can say it was the best six months of my life.

'I wasn't sure I would last the course, never mind win a prize.

'My battalion are already in Afghanistan and I'm gutted I won't be able to join them there.'

After some well-earned leave Private Ward will join his new unit the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment in Pirbright.