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Prince Harry and team of 'Walking with the wounded' reach South Pole

Saturday, December 14th 2013 - 05:56 UTC
Full article 8 comments
“A half-day on Friday and we get to the South Pole on Friday 13th, unlucky for some, lucky for us” anticipated the prince (Pic. Getty Imagine) “A half-day on Friday and we get to the South Pole on Friday 13th, unlucky for some, lucky for us” anticipated the prince (Pic. Getty Imagine)

Prince Harry and his fellow adventurers in the Walking With The Wounded expedition have arrived at the South Pole, the organizers have said. The group stood at the bottom of the world at 12:00 GMT Friday after more than three weeks of pulling sleds.

 Twelve injured servicemen and women from the UK, the US and the Commonwealth were on the 200-mile walk. A competitive element of the expedition had been suspended because of “difficult terrain”.

Team UK, which includes the prince and four injured British soldiers, had been racing against a US team, and a team made up of Canadians and Australians.

Ed Parker, the expedition's director and co-founder of the Walking With The Wounded charity that organized the challenge, said: “We always knew that this wasn't going to be easy, but that is what makes the challenge so exciting.

”Our aim was to show that, despite injury, young men and women from our armed forces can still achieve great things. We came down here, determined to get 12 men and women, all injured in conflict, to the South Pole, and this is what we have done. The feeling is incredible.“

In a voice blog recorded on Wednesday, the prince said: ”A half-day on Friday and we get to the South Pole on Friday 13th, unlucky for some, lucky for us.“

All those on the trek across Antarctica were in ”high spirits“, he said. The prince, an Army pilot who has served two tours in Afghanistan, said in his voice blog: ”The wind has dropped down, which is nice.

“I think everyone is feeling a bit tired, but slowly getting into the rhythm. Only just got into the rhythm now and it has almost finished.”

He praised his UK team-mate, Sgt Duncan Slater, from Muir of Ord, who lost both his legs in Afghanistan in 2009 when his vehicle was blown up by an improvised explosive device.

He said Sgt Slater, 34, “simply doesn't find walking to the South Pole a big enough challenge, which is why he really enjoyed the race”.

“I think everyone back home will appreciate the fact that just being able to walk 100km in these conditions with no legs is a pretty amazing feat in itself.”

Team members have been pulling 70kg sleds, or pulks.

The prince, who is patron of the expedition, took part in the charity's trek to the North Pole in 2011 but withdrew early to attend his brother's wedding.

The three other wounded service personnel in the British team are Maj Kate Philp, 34, from Worcestershire, who lost her left leg after a bomb blast in 2008; Capt Guy Disney, 31, from Oxford, who lost his right leg in a rocket attack in 2009; and Capt Ibrar Ali, 36, from York, who lost his right arm in a roadside bomb in 2007.

Top Comments

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  • Anglotino

    An amazing story of courge and strength from those that have given so much for their countries.

    Dec 14th, 2013 - 07:22 am 0
  • Britworker

    It's a great achievement, very proud to British and very proud of our soldiers. Well done Harry and all the wounded soldiers that took part.

    Dec 14th, 2013 - 12:00 pm 0
  • ChrisR

    Well done to all who took part.

    Dec 14th, 2013 - 02:37 pm 0
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