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Walking With The Wounded trek reaches North Pole

Walking with the Wounded trek
Image caption The team toasted the Queen with a bottle of champagne upon reaching the North Pole

A group of wounded servicemen on an Arctic charity trek, which was joined by Prince Harry for four days, have reached the North Pole.

The team reached their destination on Saturday after a 13-day trek of about 190 miles across the polar ice cap.

Four of the team - who aim to raise £2m for the Walking With The Wounded charity - were injured in Afghanistan.

They have become the first team of war-wounded amputees to ski to the North Pole unsupported.

Despite a three-day delay at the start of the expedition due to bad weather at Barneo Ice Field, they reached their destination three days ahead of schedule.

'Showing off'

Prince Harry, who is patron of Walking With The Wounded and who spent four days trekking with them earlier this month, was the first person to congratulate them via satellite phone.

He said: "I'm absolutely thrilled that the guys have made it - what an awesome achievement. They should be incredibly proud of making this world record, as we are proud of them.

"I took part in only a small section of the trek, but know full well how physically demanding it was. The spirit and determination of these lads is second to none. They are true role models."

He joked that they were "showing off" by arriving early.

The servicemen taking part in the mission were: Capt Martin Hewitt, 30, whose right arm is paralysed after being shot; Capt Guy Disney, 29, whose right leg was amputated below the knee after he was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG); Sgt Stephen Young, 28, who suffered a broken back in a roadside bombing; and Pte Jaco Van Gass, 24, who had his left arm amputated and suffered significant tissue loss to his left leg after being hit by an RPG.

They were joined by two of the charity's founders, Edward Parker and Simon Dalglish, and polar guide Inge Solheim.

Upon arrival at the North Pole, the men toasted the Queen with a bottle of champagne they had carried with them throughout the expedition.

Prime Minister David Cameron sent them a letter of congratulations, which was read out as they reached their destination.

Mr Cameron said he was "incredibly proud" of the team.

Expedition spokesman Alex Rayner added: "It is incredible that the team were delayed three days at the start of the expedition, yet they have still arrived at the North Pole three days early.

"The Walking with the Wounded team have reached their goal faster than almost every able-bodied team I know, and frankly that doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

"The training and determination of the wounded boys just shows that injuries need not be a barrier to living a full and rewarding life."

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