Best man saves groom's life - twice

A best man has a lot of responsibilities before a wedding, but one set a new benchmark for others by saving the life of the groom - twice.

Lance Corporal Craig Turley was on patrol in the Nar-e-Saraj district of Afghanistan when he nearly lost his left hand in a grenade attack.

Exactly a year later, he was bitten by a venomous snake in Kenya.

But luckily for the 28-year-old, good friend and medic Lance Corporal Scott "Ringer" Townson was there to help on both occasions.

The fact both incidents happened exactly a year apart, on September 23, will have made choosing a date for the wedding a little easier, with the couple undoubtedly keen to prevent an unlucky third mishap.

Clearly up to the task of being best man, L/Cpl Townson will now also be on hand when L/Cpl Turley marries fiance Amy Rhodes next April.

L/Cpl Turley, from Marlborough, Wiltshire, told The Citizen: "When the hand grenade went off it created a lot of dust, and fragmentation went into my left hand and it cut my artery. Ringer tried to stop the bleeding and calmed me down. If it wasn't for him and the medical team at Camp Bastion, I would have lost my left hand. A year later and we're on patrol and I went down in the grass and got bitten by an Egyptian cobra, again on my left arm."

After 30 minutes the soldier started to feel nauseous, he was convulsing and his eyesight went. He said all he could hear was L/Cpl Townson who had come to his aid with a supply of anti-venom.

"He had saved my life again and that is no exaggeration as my heart was starting to give in," L/Cpl Turley said.

L/Cpl Townson, a 29-year-old Gloucester-based medic with 1 Rifles, added: "I was just doing my job like anyone would, but it is strange that it was exactly a year ago I treated him in Afghanistan and I'm not sure whether he will want to be near me on September 23 next year."