It was called "the single most outstanding act of explosive ordinance disposal ever recorded in Afghanistan". 

Warrant Officer Class 1 Kim Hughes made over 80 improvised explosive devices safe during his tour of the country.

Now, he has told his story in a new book called 'Painting the Sand'.

It charts his career as a bomb disposal operator and the events for which he was awarded the George Cross for bravery, while serving as a staff sergeant.

He told Forces News:

"I was absolutely honoured to be awarded that [the George Cross]."

"Every one of my guys deserved something. Every one of the bomb disposal operators that worked on the ground in Afghanistan deserved something.

"In fact every... troop that stepped beyond the wire deserved recognition.

"I just happened to be there that day... I sort of wear it, yes with pride, but I wear it for my team."

WO1 Hughes' citation was presented by the then-Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, in a 2010 ceremony in the City of London.

A posthumous George Cross award to Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid was announced at the same time.