Podcasts & Specials

Major Pete Norton GC: Baghdad IED

Stories of Valour, Courage and Bravery

16/06/2021Download

24th July, 2005, Al Bayaa District, near Baghdad, Iraq. 

Captain Pete Norton was used to dealing with explosives. By the time he deployed to Iraq he had spent more than 20 years working in bomb disposal. He was so well known for his cool head and unflappable nature he was given the nickname “Perfect Pete”. 

But one night investigating the scene of a devastating IED attack outside Baghdad, would change his life forever. 

Pete was checking for further devices when a secondary IED exploded almost killing him. But while he fought for his own life, he also fought for the safety of his team, giving them vital life-saving instructions and refusing to be evacuated until he was sure that everyone understood the danger. 

Darren talks to Pete and two of his multinational team members; Nick and Chris from the FBI, about the blast and how Pete also received an FBI Star for his actions. 

Contributors: 

Major Pete Norton GC 

Nick Boshears 

Chris Rigapoulos 

With thanks to The VC and GC Association, The Federal Bureau of Investigation 

Credits: 

Presented by Darren Coventry 

Written and produced by Josella Waldron and Simon Thornton 

Edited by Andy Prada  

Sound Design by Mark Pittam 

Original Music by Will Farmer 

Executive Producer Alex Griffiths

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More episodes

09/06/2021

More Tea: Queen Victoria Brings the Bling 

Queen Victoria was dismayed to discover there were no medals for those who fought for Britain in the Battle of Trafalgar or those who fought with the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular. 

In fact, she was so unhappy, she invented two new medals herself. 

In this bonus episode Darren talks to medals expert Mark Smith about Queen Victoria’s important role in the story of British military honours. 

There’s also a preview of episode three which features the recipient of a George Cross AND an FBI Star for his life-saving actions in Iraq.

02/06/2021

Michelle Goodman DFC: Helicopter Rescue Under Fire 

1st June 2007, Basra, Iraq. 

RAF Helicopter Pilot Flight Lieutenant Michelle Goodman and the rest of her Merlin crew were used to flying into dangerous places. They were part of an Incident Response Team (IRT) which picked up seriously injured soldiers and took them to hospital for treatment. But one night in Basra proved to be like no other when the crew flew to the rescue of a young soldier with very serious injuries sustained in a mortar attack. 

Michelle flew into the city at night and under fire from rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.  

Darren talks to Michelle who is the first woman ever to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross, as well as other members of the Merlin Crew about the decisions they made and the risks they took to save a life. 

Contributors: 

Michelle Goodman DFC, George Williams and Chris Parker. 

With thanks to Stephen Vause and family. 

Credits: 

Presented by Darren Coventry 

Written and produced by Josella Waldron and Simon Thornton 

Edited by Andy Prada  

Sound Design by Mark Pittam 

Original Music by Will Farmer 

Executive Producer Alex Griffiths

26/05/2021

More Tea: The First British Medals 

Who invented medals?  

When did Britain start awarding them to soldiers?  

In this bonus episode Darren talks to medals expert Mark Smith about the beginnings of Britain's military honours system. There's also a sneak preview of episode two featuring the first female recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

19/05/2021

Chris Balmforth MC: Ambush in Basra 

8th April 2004, Basra, Iraq.  

Corporal Chris “Barney” Balmforth wasn’t expecting any dramas as he and the rest of B Troop Queen’s Royal Hussars carried out their regular training and mentoring session at al- Jamiat police station. But when “something special” arrived in the back of a pick-up truck, everything changed.  

Chris recalls how one bizarre incident turned everything on its head as the troop came under fire from Iraqi insurgents as they left the police station, leaving one of Chris’s fellow troopers fighting for his life.  

Darren Coventry was also there that day, serving with the Royal Military Police. He talks to Chris, his commanding officers and fellow soldiers who tell him what happened and why Chris’s incredible actions earned him the Military Cross.  

With thanks to Chris Balmforth MC, Lt Col Matt Cocup, Major Trevor Gray, Curtis Pike and Dave King. 

Presented by Darren Coventry  

Written and produced by Josella Waldron and Simon Thornton  

Edited by Andy Prada  

Sound Design by Mark Pittam  

Original Music by Will Farmer  

Executive Producer Alex Griffiths

06/05/2021

Introducing: Tea and Medals 

What does it mean to be brave? So brave that you’re invited to Buckingham Palace to receive one of the UK’s highest military honours. 

Former soldier Darren Coventry talks to men and women who have done just that. He makes them a brew and they tell him the stories behind their medals, which are never quite as straightforward as they seem.  

Darren also talks to those who witnessed these incidents first-hand and can tell us more about those who had the courage and the grit to be brave. 

Coming soon. Subscribe now and never miss an episode of this original podcast series from BFBS.