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Princess presents Elizabeth Cross to dog handler's family 11 May 2011

Princess Anne presents the Elizabeth Cross to LCpl Tasker's mum and dad.

Her Royal Highness Princess Anne has presented the Elizabeth Cross to the family of Lance Corporal Liam Tasker at a private ceremony held at the Defence Animal Centre.

Liam’s mother Jane Duffy collected the medal with his father Ian Tasker, his brother Ian, his two sisters Laura and Nicola, and his girlfriend Leah.

Lance Corporal Tasker deployed to Afghanistan on 8 September 2010 as part of the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment. Having trained as an Arms and Explosives Search dog handler, he was attached to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards on 19 February 2011.

On 1 March 2011, Lance Corporal Tasker was taking part in a patrol with his dog Theo when they were engaged by small arms fire, during which Lance Corporal Tasker was struck and died. On returning to Camp Bastion, Theo suffered a seizure and also died.

Lance Corporal Liam Tasker and TheoLiam’s mother Jane Duffy said: “It was a great honour to receive the Elizabeth Cross from Princess Anne. It has been a memorable and emotional day, but also a very proud occasion.”

The Elizabeth Cross was introduced in 2009 to give recognition to bereaved families of soldiers killed on operations, or as a result of terrorist actions since January 1, 1948. Each individual cross carries the name of the soldier, sailor or airman who died serving his country.

The Defence Animal Centre is responsible for the procurement and training of all military working dogs, and delivering dog handler courses, from Explosive Detection Dog Handler through to Protection dog and Police Dog training.