Johnson G. Beharry VC
By Maureen M Dickson
Author of "Pilots and Soldiers of the Caribbean; Fighting Men of the Caribbean
When the name Johnson Beharry is heard, most people will remember him as the ex-soldier who danced on the television programme "Dancing on Ice" in 2011, with Jodeyne Higgins. Few knew of the extent of his bravery in the theatre of war, and his sacrifice made to save his colleagues, which took him to the brink of death, this was a man of valour who was tested to the maximum.
The fact that he participated in the show demonstrated his ongoing courage. There was concern that during the show he might fall and hit his head, (which contains a metal plate, along with other components, and is now a permanent fixture).
At the age of twenty-four, while successfully attempting to save the lives of his comrades, he sustained life-threatening head injuries which meant that he needed several operations to remove shrapnel and bone shards from his brain. Following his surgery, he was in a coma which no one thought he would recover from. Despite the bleak prognosis, he beat the odds and recovered.
His courage shone for all to see on the dance floor. When asked if he was worried about his head injury, or if he took a tumble, Lance Corporal Beharry replied, "No, I can't run away from what has happened. Besides, I found skating to be physically, and mentally a healing experience: while boosting my mobility." However, while performing in the programme, he obtained an injury to his hand and was treated in hospital.
Johnson Gideon Beharry, a soldier of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment was awarded his Victoria Cross while serving in Al Amarah, Maysan Province, Iraq, in 2004. He saved the lives of 42 of his fellow soldiers from certain death, despite sustaining a gunshot wound to the head. He then insisted on returning to the battlefield only weeks later. He risked his life again to rescue his fellow soldiers and sustained the injuries that almost took his life and resulted in him being in a coma. He was the first recipient of the Victoria Cross since 1985, for his two separate acts of valour under fire.
He was noted as saying, “What is important to me is the contribution I made towards the lives of 42 soldiers. That is really what the Victoria Cross means to me. History never ends”.
The Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest and most prestigious British honour, for valour in presence of the enemy to members of the British Armed Forces. It is awarded to persons who displayed the most conspicuous gallantry, daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy. That is Johnson Beharry.
Read about his story in the book “Pilots and Soldiers of the Caribbean, Fighting Men of the Caribbean”
ISBN- 978 1838-0127-48 Paperback. E-book ISBN -978 1838 0127 55
The book can be purchased from Amazon and other online bookstores.
Signed copies can be obtained on the website:- www.caribbbeanservicemen.com