Call to hand Freedom of Doncaster to war hero Ben Parkinson

Wounded Doncaster war hero Ben Parkinson could be set for another honour to add to the MBE he already has.

Monday, 20th February 2017, 11:02 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 8:18 am
Ben Parkinson sponsored stroll around The Lakeside in Doncaster in support of Pilgrim Bandits charity. Picture: Chris Etchells

Ben has been nominated for the Freedom of Doncaster, and if the nomination is accepted by Doncaster Council, it could be confirmed as soon as next month.

Ben has been a high profile figure in Doncaster since he was nearly killed by a Taliban bomb while serving the 7 Para Royal Horse Artillery in Afghanistan.

Since then he has raised thousands of pounds for wounded servicemen’s charities, with a series of adventures carried out with his Pilgrim Bandits charity.

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The most recent one saw him kayaking 250 miles along the Yukon River in Canada.

This has done despite horrific injuries including the loss of both legs and brain damage.

He has been described as the most seriously wounded British soldier to have survived his injuries.

He has also backed many charitable events in Doncaster, and visited schools around the borough.

Among those to have nominated him is Bobbie Roberts, the chairman of the Doncaster Deaf Trust, who has herself been awarded the Freedom of Doncaster.

She said Ben really needed no introduction to the people of Doncaster as he was so widely known among residents.

She said: “I think he is an example and an inspiration to young and old alike.”

She added she would not normally nominate someone so young but he had already done much with his life.

“What he has done for Doncaster is incredible,” she added.

Ben said he was proud to be nominated.

His mother Diane Dernie said bBen’s progress showed there was nothing that could not be done with the right people.

She added there was something special about being nominated for an honour in his home town.