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Wounded Soldier Opens Festival

Wednesday August 7 2013


WomFest WomFest


WOUNDED soldier Ben Parkinson opened WomFest to cheers before bands entertained revellers throughout the day and night.

The Lance Corporal, who is the most wounded soldier to have survived his injuries in the Afghanistan war, arrived at the Prince of Wales with Wombwell soldiers Corporal Wayne Brett and Lance Corporal Leigh Beecham to open the event.

Bands played at the Prince, Old Town Hall, Squires and KGs into the night on July 27 to help organisers Stacy Bailey and Kaylee Cunningham reach their target of £10,000 for Help for Heroes.

More than £2,000 has been raised so far, with money still coming in.

Cpl Brett said it meant a lot to the community that Ben was there. He said: "He's not just a South Yorkshire hero, he's a national hero, and we didn't have to convince him to come here - as soon as you phone him he's there."

Arron Bradley, 22, of Low Croft, Wombwell, suffered injuries to his leg serving in Afghanistan with the Light Dragoons in 2009 and later had it amputed below his knee. He met Ben for the first time in Hedley Court rehabilitation centre and said he was an inspiration.

He said: "For what he's been through, he's lucky to be here, but he's fought through it and look him at him now."

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