A British soldier who defused a record 139 bombs on a six-month tour in Afghanistan says receiving a medal from Prince Charles was even more nerve-racking than his dangerous work.

Warrant Officer Karl Ley, 30, was on Friday presented with the George Medal, Britain's second highest honor for valor when not in the presence of the enemy, in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

He says that attending the high profile event was "far more terrifying" than his tour of duty in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province.

Ley often defused roadside bombs without a protective suit or specialist robot. In a single 72-hour operation last year he deactivated 28 devices.

Britain's defense ministry said Ley had defused more roadside bombs in a single tour than any other UK soldier.