Ben needs a break after great strides in recovery

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WOUNDED South Yorkshire soldier Ben Parkinson had to withdraw from a dinner date in Sheffield after an arduous weekend which saw him walking publicly for his first Remembrance Service on artificial legs.

Ben - Britain’s mostly badly injured serviceman to survive - had been due to attend a Rotary Club function in the Cutler’s Hall on Monday.

But his appearance was cancelled after a tiring few days.

Ben, aged 27, attended Armistice Day in Doncaster on Friday, an event in Southampton on Saturday, collecting for Help for Heroes in Meadowhall and the main Remembrance Service in Doncaster on Sunday.

Stepdad Andrew Dernie, 52, told The Star: “We’ve probably done too much.

“Ben attended the Armistice Day parade in Doncaster on Friday, then we went down to support an event in Southampton and had to drive straight back to be at the memorial in Doncaster on Sunday. After that we helped with collecting for Help For Heroes at Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield and he didn’t miss a day at the gym.

“But I want to reassure everyone Ben was not ill, just tired. He’s physically fitter than most people.”

Onlookers were moved to tears on Sunday as Ben, from Bessacarr, Doncaster, rose in full uniform from his wheelchair and walked for Remembrance Sunday for the first time since losing his legs in a blast in Afghanistan in 2006.

He spent 10 minutes on crutches and the short prosthetic legs he calls his ‘stubbies’ and sang the national anthem.

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