POLICE officers who ran into a "blazing inferno" to rescue a woman have been honoured with an award in memory of D-Day hero Major John Howard.

South Oxfordshire police officers Caleb Smith and Matthew Agar risked their lives when they ran into the burning building in Harwell in December 2017.

They were forced to battle a blazing kitchen fire to rescue the almost unconscious woman who was trapped inside.

It was the first time the pair had attempted a rescue from a fire.

PC Smith added: “We are a little bit shocked but very privileged to have won the Thames Valley Police Federation Bravery Awards.”

The pair were officially awarded a Thames Valley Police Federation Bravery Award on Thursday for their heroic efforts.

A ceremony was staged to celebrate the pair as well as several other officers nominated for their outstanding acts of bravery.

In total six cases and the officers who were involved were handed a bravery award.

But during the ceremony, PC Agar and PC Smith also managed to bag the overall ‘winning prize’ of being awarded The Major John Howard Award for Bravery.

Major John Howard was the Army officer who led the Pegasus Bridge raid which heralded the D-Day landings in northern France during the Second World War, which started the Allied push which ultimately ended the war. He was also a former Oxford City Police Officer.

The award is handed out in his honour every year at the Thames Valley Police Federation awards and the winners go on to represent the force at the National Police Bravery Awards in London this July.

Another officer was also handed an award at the ceremony for his campaigning and courageous efforts as a police officer.

Banbury’s PC Tom Dorman lost his leg after his marked police car was involved in a crash in Maidenhead, Berkshire, in September 2018.

He had to have his leg amputated and says he owes his life to the members of the public who helped him following the crash, as he advised them how to use a tourniquet to stem the catastrophic bleeding from his leg.

Since the crash he has worked hard on his recovery, vowing and succeeding to come back to work, and launching a widely publicised campaign encouraging people to learn how to use tourniquets to save lives.

Now, just months after the crash he has started to walk again with a prosthetic leg and returned to work ‘incredibly quickly’ on restricted duties.

His plan is to return to the beat ‘within a year, to do what every police officer does, catching criminals and looking after people’.

He was awarded the first ever Thames Valley Police Federation inspiration award.

Mr O’Leary said the passion and courage shown by PC Dorman is "truly humbling".

He added: “No-one deserves this inaugural Inspiration Award more than Tom.

“His grit and determination is truly humbling and he has achieved an incredible amount in such a short time.

Herald Series:

Major John Howard, DSO of Oxford, left, with Mr E H Birchall, taken in 1944

“We are all in awe of his strength and spirit and are so proud that he is a Thames Valley Police officer.

“It is hard to imagine how much he has been through, and what it feels like, but Tom has worked incredibly hard not to be beaten by this horrendous incident.

“I am constantly impressed by everything he has done and continues to achieve.

“He is an example to us all. Well done Tom.”

Just one month after the collision, PC Dorman said: “I’m going to achieve things I couldn’t have ever imagined before losing my leg.

“I am going to make a difference. I am going to smash every goal I set and I am going to smash every obstacle in my way. I can do this. I am the master of my own fate.”