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Ben Parkinson sets off on Arctic challenge

Ben Parkinson at home in Doncaster getting ready for his Arctic trip Photo:

A soldier from South Yorkshire who became the most seriously injured soldier to survive the conflict in Afghanistan is setting off for an Arctic expedition today to honour the heroes of Telemark.

Lance-Bombardier Ben Parkinson, from Doncaster, will join other disabled veterans to mark the 70 years since the operation - the aim of which was to sabotage Hitler's nuclear programme in Nazi-occupied Norway.

The orginal mission during WWII involved a small group of Norwegian saboteurs put their lives at risk to stop the Germans gaining access to a substance called Deuterium Oxide or 'heavy water', a secret ingredient crucial in the Nazis attempt to make an Atomic Bomb.

The saboteurs were chosen for their local knowledge and their survival skills that enabled them to survive in Northern Europe's most inhospitable environment, the high mountain plateau of the Hardanger Vidda. This journey will be recreated by Ben and other injured and amputee service men from Pilgrim Bandits.

The Bandits were established by a small group of Special Forces veterans in 2007 with the aim of using their unique training and experience to help and inspire wounded soldiers to live life to the full. Click here for more details.