Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Former paratrooper Ben Parkinson given freedom of Doncaster

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Media captionBen Parkinson walked into the ceremony honouring him

A former paratrooper who lost both his legs in a blast in Afghanistan has received the freedom of his home town.

L/Bombardier Ben Parkinson has been given the Freedom of the Borough of Doncaster.

He suffered more than 40 injuries and was not expected to survive when his vehicle detonated a landmine in 2006.

The honour recognises "his bravery, fighting spirit, total selflessness, determination and his ability to inspire", Doncaster Council said.

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L/Bombardier Parkinson was awarded the MBE for his charity work by the Prince of Wales at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2013.

He also carried the 2012 Olympic flame through Doncaster flanked by hundreds of people as he walked on prosthetic legs for nearly half an hour with an assistant.

He has also taken part in several long-distance challenges.

Image caption Ben Parkinson joined the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption He received an MBE honour in 2013
Image caption Crowds cheered him on as he carried the Olympic torch

L/Bombardier Parkinson was two weeks from finishing a tour of Afghanistan when his Land Rover hit a mine.

As well as brain damage that affected his memory and speech, he broke his pelvis, and his back in four places, shattered his arm and chest.

Ros Jones, the elected mayor, George Derx, the civic mayor and Jo Miller, the council's chief executive, signed the official Roll of Honour and presented L/Bombardier Parkinson with a framed scroll.

Image caption The honorary freedom was conferred by the council

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