Prince Charles wishes Devizes soldier well on South Pole expedition (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Prince Charles wishes Devizes soldier well on South Pole expedition
Three wounded soldiers, including one from Devizes, planning to walk in the footsteps of Scott of the Antarctic to the South Pole were wished well by the Prince of Wales.
The servicemen, from the Royal Dragoon Guards (RDG), received a morale boost from Charles, their regiment's colonel-in-chief, who invited the men to his London home.
Captain Adam Crookshank, of Devizes, Corporal Robbie Harmer, Lance-Corporal Nick Webb and other members of the team, who will be co-led by one of the world's most experienced explorers David Hempleman-Adams, who lives in Box, enjoyed champagne with the Prince, who drank tea.
The adventurers begin their four-week trek to the geographic South Pole on November 19, dragging sleds, filled with food and equipment, 140 miles across the ice, just as Scott and his team did 100 years ago in 1912.
Capt Crookshank, who was showered with shrapnel when a mortar exploded a few feet from his head in 2010, injuring his right arm and face, said he and his men were relishing the challenge.
"I've been trying not to get excited about it until a month ago when I realised this is really going to happen," said the 29-year-old army officer.
"To come here is tremendous. I cannot really quantify it. I've respected the Prince of Wales for my entire life and to have him saying to me 'Well done, you're a good guy', just knocks you away."
The soldiers have a strong connection with Scott's 1912 expedition as Captain Oates was a member of their unit and, like them, was wounded in action.
Capt Oates served with the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, which was amalgamated into what later became the RDG, and carried a war wound - a bullet injury from the Boer War that left him with a limp.
Funds will be raised from the trip, with the proceeds going to Walking with the Wounded, which has been supported by Prince Harry, and Alzheimer's Research UK.