A CHESTER soldier has spoken of the death-defying moment he was forced to clear a bomb-strewn alley before saving three maimed comrades in Afghanistan.

Private Daniel Hellings, was 19 when he carried out his act of adrenalin-fuelled bravery in Helmand in 2010.

Such courage went on to earn Pte Daniels, a former Upton High School pupil, a Queen’s Gallantry Medal, and next month his bravery will be honoured in a national newspaper’s Military Awards.

Recalling his courageous events of 2010, Pte Hellings, now 23, said there was no time for fear when forced to uncover IED’s as he cleared a path whilst following the Afghan army at a forward base in Helmand.

Modestly, Pte Hellings, who is stationed at the Dale Barracks in Moston, Chester, with the 2nd Mercian Regiment, said: “We were on patrol following Afghan soldiers, and I was ahead with a metal detector when an ID went off and then one of the Afghan commanders stepped on an IED bomb just four feet away from us.

“It was quite a frightening experience but I soon realised there was no time for fear, I had to act. There was no time to think about what could happen I just had to focus on what had to be done.”

Miraculously, Pte Hellings, who is married to Amy, and has a two-year-old daughter Mia, was not injured in the blasts, but he says the experience is one that will live with him forever.

“It was surreal. When the second IED went off, I checked myself over and somehow I was not injured. Then I did what I had to do.

“Thinking about it afterwards was also surreal. My commander said I did extremely well. I’m proud but I just did what I had to,”said Pte Hellings, who returned to Afghanistan for a second tour of duty in 2013/14.

In the aftermath of the explosions Pte Hellings helped the three injured soldiers, and applied a combat tourniquet on the badly injured calf of the third soldier, before stretcher-bearers began helping the men back out of the safe passage.

At one point during the incident, Pte Hellings is believed to have uncovered a pressure plate designed to trigger a device planted in a wall.

Pte Hellings’ mum Lesley, from Great Sutton, Ellesmere Port, said the family were extremely proud of Daniel for his bravery and hailed him a true hero.