Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Royal reward for wounded soldier

Ben Parkinson lost both legs and sustained more than 40 injuries including brain damage

A soldier thought to have survived the worst ever battlefield injuries in Afghanistan will be made an MBE by the Prince of Wales.

Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson lost both legs and sustained more than 40 injuries including brain damage that affected his memory and speech in a bomb attack in 2006.

When the paratrooper took a turn in carrying the Olympic flame through his hometown of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, last year the sight of the determined soldier on his prosthetic legs moved many to tears and was declared one of the most emotional scenes of the relay.

Also being honoured at the ceremony at Buckingham Palace will be former world number one golfer Luke Donald who will be made an MBE for services to the sport.

He will join other sports stars including Paralympians - double gold medal winning wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft and cycling gold medal winner Mark Colbourne - who will also both be made an MBE.

Eventing legend Sir Mark Todd, who won a team bronze at the London Olympics 28 years after his first medal at the games, will be honoured for services to equestrian sport.

The New Zealander will receive his knighthood as will Sir Kenneth Grange, who as one of the UK's leading designers is responsible for some of the most recognisable products including Britain's first parking meter and the London taxi.

Other awards go to a Royal Navy pilot recognised for his courage in saving a stricken climber.

Lieutenant Commander Craig Sweeney will receive the Air Force Cross for leading the rescue of a walker in Argyll in blizzard conditions, plummeting temperatures and pitch darkness.

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