26 May 2013
Lance Corporal Stephen Shaw M.C become a Freeman of the Borough, the highest honour the council can bestow on an individual or group.
He attended the ceremony at Heywood Civic Centre on 26 May 2013.
On 16 April 2013 councillors at Rochdale Town Hall agreed to honour Lance Corporal Shaw from Heywood for his heroic actions while injured on the front line in Afghanistan.
It is the second major accolade for Shaw who was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land.
Councillor Alan McCarthy, who proposed the honour said:
"Lance Corporal Shaw M.C. is a true hero, and one the borough of Rochdale should be proud of. His actions during an horrific attack were in the very finest traditions of the British Army. Despite being shot, this young and inexperienced soldier had the presence of mind to return fire and give directions to his commander. He then took the deliberate decision to enter the killing area to the aid of four of his colleagues who lay wounded. The borough has been shown in a positive light by his actions."
Council Leader Colin Lambert added:
"This is a way for our borough to show how exceptionally proud we are of Stephen, and we did not hesitate to support it."
The Freedom of the Borough is very rarely used and only awarded to local people who have made a significant contribution to the locality or have achieved something outstanding.
Lance Corporal Stephen Shaw was the first soldier in the borough to be honoured by the council to rename a street within the borough in honour and recognition of his services. A part of Church Street, fronting the memorial gardens in Heywood, was renamed L/cpl Stephen Shaw MC Way.
View pictures of the ceremony