By Matt Croucher with Robert Jobson
Robert Jobson was commissioned by Century, Random House to assist with the writing of the memoirs of George Cross winner Royal Marine Lance Corporal Matt Croucher. The book - Bullet Proof - is due out in autumn 2009 and is widely tipped to be a top bestseller.
Jobson said: It has been an honour to get to know and work with a real life hero and assist him in the telling of this truly remarkable story. Matt is an inspirational individual who was quite prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to save his comrades. His experiences as a front line marine are truly amazing.
ABOUT MATT CROUCHER, GC.
Matt grew up in Solihull and joined the Royal Marines aged 16, passing through the legendary 32-week training programme and into 40 Commando despite a series of injuries. He served two tours with the Marines in Iraq before becoming a reservist and returning to Iraq as a private security contractor with the United Nations. He re-joined the Royal Marines for the ultimate challenge of a tour of duty in war-torn Afghanistan in September 2007. Five months later he faced down death by diving on a tripwired grenade to save the lives of his men. Awarded the George Cross, his incredible story of heroism has features in newspapers, TV and radio shows around the world.
BULLET PROOF - TO BE PUBLISHED AUTUMN 2009
AFGHANISTAN, FEBRUARY 2008: in an out-of-control, dangerous country torn apart by war, littered with Taleban guerrilla forces and thousands of miles from home, Lance Corporal Matt Croucher, a Royal Marine with 40 Commando, accidentally activates a grenade mine whilst on a covert night patrol behind enemy lines. With only a split second to react, Croucher's instincts kick in and he throws himself onto the grenade, reasoning that saving the lives of his three comrades was worth the likelihood of losing his own.
Miraculously, and against all the odds, Croucher survived, and mere hours later was taking part in a ferocious gun battle against local insurgent fighters, demonstrating a raw, unique courage and devotion to military duty that would later see him awarded the George Cross - a distinction bestowed only on those who perform acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger.
Croucher's George Cross would make him famous around the world. But his story is much more than just one heroic act in isolation. His is a life of bullets, blood and loyalty, and of lives saved and lives taken. From a raw recruit at 19, when he was one of the first 200 Allied soldiers to invade Iraq back in 2003 as part of an elite force of British Marines and US Special Forces, through to his second tour of duty in 2004, when he suffered a fractured skull following a roadside bomb attack, only to return to action just a week later, and then being thrust into hellish Afghanistan, Croucher has seen vicious fighting, intense gun battles, roadside ambushes, and witnessed the death and injury of close colleagues on an almost daily basis.
This is his incredible story: a searing, vivid, non-stop account of one man's heroism and courage under fire, in the most gruelling combat environment since the Second World War.