Over 100 acts of exceptional bravery were honoured in Plymouth, United Kingdom yesterday, including 16 Military Crosses, three DSOs, two Conspicuous Gallantry Awards, three Queens Gallantry Medals and 43 Mentioned in Dispatches.
Until now, only one woman had won a Military Cross: Army medic Michelle 'Chuck' Norris in Iraq in 2006.
Now Navy medic Kate Nesbitt joins her for her actions near Helmand in Afghanistan.
Extraordinarily, both awards were given for saving the lives of colleagues who had been shot in the mouth.
The then 20-year-old Able Seaman Nesbitt raced 70 metres across uncovered ground under constant fire to treat severely injured Cpl John List who was unable to breathe.
Those present thought that Cpl List was too badly injured to survive, and Kate Nesbitt treated him for 45 minutes. He is now recovering well.
Nesbitt's citation reads "Nesbitt's actions throughout a series of offensive operations were exemplary; under fire and under pressure her commitment and courage were inspirational and made the difference between life and death. She performed in the highest traditions of her service."
Another MC was awarded to Royal Marine Sgt Noel Connolly who saved lives by 'rugby tackling a suicide bomber on a motorcycle'.
Two other Marines received the Conspicuous Gallantry Award (second only to the Victoria Cross).
Steven Nethery ran across open ground under heavy fire to carry a wounded colleague 250 yards out of harm's way, and then ran out a second time to retrieve vital equipment.
Lance-Corporal Bradley Malone "displayed a complete disregard for his own safety" running out under heavy fire to rescue his Sergeant and is credited with turning the tide of the battle.
Gallantry medals are very precious objects, especially ones as high grade as these, and are valued higher by collectors when there is a detailed personal story associated with the award, or they are rare, such as an MC awarded to a woman.