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Afghan bomb survivor Ashley’s royal day out
1:50pm Saturday 26th February 2011 in Local News
A COURAGEOUS Colchester soldier and his family have met the Queen.
Sapper Ashley-James Hall, 20, whose legs were blown off in an explosion in Afghanistan, joined colleagues from the 36 Engineer Regiment and Queen’s Gurkha Engineers to meet Her Majesty yesterday.
She was introduced to Ashley and his family in a marquee at the Invicta Park Barracks, in Maidstone, Kent.
Speaking before the event, his dad, Stephen, told supporters of a foundation set up to help wounded soldiers: “Ashley is doing OK. It should be a good day, as long as the weather stays good.”
Ashley, who is continuing his battle to walk again, had been recovering from a serious infection in the remaining sections of his leg at a hospital in Birmingham, having contracted meningitis in Colchester.
About 1,000 guests watched more than 250 soldiers paraded before the Queen in the regimental square before carrying out a series of exercises.
The 36 Engineer Regiment is continuing to support operations against improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan. It was one of these bombs caused Ashley’s injuries.
Ashley, a former pupil at Colchester’s St Benedict’s College, lives in Stratford St Mary. His father has set up a foundation, named the Invicta Foundation after the Kent barracks, to raise money for a home for recovering soldiers.