Escort for Ben’s trip to the Palace

Former Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson with his mum Diane Dernie at home in Bessacarr.
Former Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson with his mum Diane Dernie at home in Bessacarr.
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The family of wounded hero Ben Parkinson are leaving Doncaster today for their date at Buckingham Palace.

The soldier, who lost both legs in a bomb blast in Afghanistan seven years ago, is due to receive his MBE at around noon tomorrow.

But the pomp and circumstance begins even earlier with a special escort laid on for Ben, his family and friends.

Four gunners from the King’s Troop, the Royal Horse Artillery - a sister regiment to Ben’s - will provide a mounted escort along The Mall to the Palace for the start of the ceremony at 10am.

Ben, regarded as the most severely injured soldier to survive combat injuries in Afghanistan, is already excited by the prospect of one of the biggest days of his life.

He was awarded the MBE for his services to charity in the New Year Honours list. It followed his epic walk with the Olympic flame along Bennetthorpe as it passed through Doncaster last summer, which brought widespread admiration.

Tomorrow’s investiture ceremony is due to start at 10am but because Ben is the lowest ranked military recipient he will literally be the last person to receive it.

His mum, Diane Dernie, who will be wearing a new dress, said: “We know he will be last but we don’t mind. We hope it is the Queen who presents it but we won’t know until we get there. We are all very excited.”

They will be accompanied by Doncaster’s new Mayor, Ros Jones, and her husband, Alan, who are friends of Ben.