A British soldier gravely injured in the infamous Kajaki dam incident in Afghanistan in 2006, was guest of honour at a fund raiser in Melrose.
Stuart Pearson was a corporal with the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, when he and his comrades became marooned in the middle of a minefield.
The story of how he and two others lost legs, while four were seriously injured and fellow paratrooper, Mark Wright, died of his injuries, is one of the most heart-wrenching to emerge from the conflict and is now the subject of the major film, ‘Kajaki: The True Story’.
Sgt Pearson, who received the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his actions at Kajaki, was in Melrose on Friday evening as guest speaker for the special ‘curry night’ fund raiser in aid of the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF), which was held in the town’s rugby club.
The evening was organised by a local group of friends, several of whom have sons currently serving in the military, as part of the ABF’s ongoing nationwide initiative called ‘The Big Curry Night’ to raise much needed funds.
On Friday, 150 people sat down to the meal and to hear Stuart tell of his experiences in Afghanistan.
On of those behind the event, Katy Leigh, told The Southern: “It went really well and everyone seemed to really enjoy it.
“There were 13 tables in total, all named after Scottish battle honours, and the evening was a sell-out. We have raised in the region of £5,500, which is an incredible sum.
“This was due to the overwhelming support shown by those who attended and who ‘dug deep’ for the auction and raffle prizes. Local businesses and individuals were equally generous and provided some brilliant donations.
“Stuart Pearson (3 Para) gave a 30-minute presentation regarding his service and the injuries he sustained in September, 2006 at Kajaki.
“Also in attendance was Scott Kyle, the Scottish actor who portrays Stuart in the Bafta-nominated film ‘Kajaki’. A short presentation was also made by Alex Braceland, who is the Army Benevolent Fund briefing officer for Scotland.”
The Pavilion Cinema in Galashiels has also agreed to screen ‘Kajaki’ on April 20.