Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Injured soldier Ben Parkinson pays Armistice Day respects

A soldier from South Yorkshire has stood to pay his respects at an Armistice Day service for the first time since losing his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2006.

Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson, 27, from Doncaster, is thought to be the most seriously injured British serviceman to survive his wounds.

Mr Parkinson is learning how to walk again on artificial legs.

He laid a wreath at the Armistice Day service at Doncaster's Mansion House.

Mr Parkinson, who served with the 7 Para Royal Horse Artillery, also suffered brain damage and a broken back when his Land Rover was ripped apart by an anti-tank mine.

The paratrooper said he was "very proud" to be able to take part in the Armistice service.

His mother, Diane Dernie, said "nothing could be more important" to her son than remembering those who had died in war and other conflicts.

"It's always been a massive, massive goal of his to stand and pay his respects during the silence," she said.

Mr Parkinson had been recommended for discharge from the army, but was told in October that he would not be discharged until he no longer needed intensive rehabilitation.

He said his recovery was going "unbelievably well", however he added there was "still a lot further to go".

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