Mum of injured war hero Ben Parkinson fears that ‘British troops will pay price’ over Afghanistan

Ben Parkinson with his mum Diane Dernie at home in Bessacarr.
Ben Parkinson with his mum Diane Dernie at home in Bessacarr.

The mum of injured Doncaster war hero Ben Parkinson has told of her sadness over increasing instability in Afghanistan.

Ben, of Bessacarr, was nearly killed while serving in the country, when the a Taliban bomb blew up a Land Rover he was travelling in.

He lost both legs and suffered injuries including brain damage, and has been described as the most severely injured soldier to survive his wounds.

The British army pulled out of Afghanistan last year. But British troops have been deployed again to help local forces as they fight to take control of a key town after it reportedly fell back under Taliban control.

The Ministry of Defence has said the soldiers are there to help Nato forces and will not be performing any combat role.

But Diane Dernie, was asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme how she felt about the increasing instability in the country.

She said: “Sadness, anger, but most of all a desperate, desperate sense of waste and fear that we are still not learning the lessons and that it’s British troops that are going to pay the price for that failure to learn.”

When asked what those lessons are, she replied: “That you don’t get yourself involved in an under-funded, under-defined, under-supported war in an isolated position, that these issues have got to be global and that there has got to be support from the Muslim world, throughout the world, and that we cannot - we don’t have the resources to - take on these issues by ourselves.”

Since his injuries, paratrooper Ben, a lance bombardier in the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, has astounded doctors with his recovery, and wasawarded the MBE for his charity work. A BBC documentary recently showed him in a canoe expedition to the Yukon River in Canada.