Injured soldier’s North Pole mission

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A soldier is embarking on his latest challenge to become part of the first injured veterans’ team to walk to both the North and South Poles.

Lance Cpl Nick Webb, 25, of the Royal Dragoon Guards, will attempt to reach the northernmost point in the world next month.

The serviceman, from St Annes, suffered a fractured heel when he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device during a tour of Afghanistan in 2012.

It will be his third marathon walk, having trekked to the South Pole with Olympic rower Matthew Pinsent in 2012 in temperatures of minus 44 degrees and navigated 140 miles across Baffin Island in Canada last year with explorer David Hempleman-Adams.

He said: “We are bidding to become the first regiment of injured soldiers to walk across both poles.

“I’ve had quite an intriguing couple of years, getting injured, going to the South Pole, going back out to Afghanistan in 2013 before last year’s walk in Canada.

“It is another challenge I am really looking forward to.”

LCpl Webb got involved in the expeditions in 2012 when he helped to mark 100 years since the ill-fated attempt by Capt Robert Scott and Capt Lawrence Oates to be the first explorers to reach the South Pole.

He will join three other serving members of the Catterick-based Royal Dragoon Guards, alongside Capt Adam Crookshank, 32, Sgt Robbie Harmer, 32 and Cpl Ollie Bainbridge MC, 26.

All four received help from the Army Recovery 
Capability (ARC), a Ministry of Defence-led initiative in 
partnership with Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion to provide wounded, injured and sick personnel with the recovery services and resources.

The soldiers said they hoped the trek, funded by Swedish billionaire philanthropist Dr Fredrik Paulsen, would highlight the work of the ARC and the importance of Joint Services Adventurous Training, while also raising money for ABF: The Soldiers Charity.

LCpl Webb added: “A few other teams will take part and it is a bit of a race. I’ve not really got any fears about what the North Pole will have in store.

“I have got a lot of trust in David Hempleman-Adams to point us in the right direction.”

An Army spokesman said: “There is nothing tougher than polar exploration which will incorporate several of the disciplines and test the participants to an extreme.”

The team will leave the UK for Longyearbyen, Norway on April 10, before being flown to the start point at the 89th degree.

They will trek the last degree to the North Pole from April 15 - 21.