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South Tyneside’s ‘bionic’ soldier part of Durham Cathedral’s Festival of Remembrance

Cpl Andy Garthwaite
Cpl Andy Garthwaite

A South Tyneside ‘bionic’ soldier is to address a major remembrance event.

Corporal Andy Garthwaite, from South Shields, is taking part in Durham Cathedral’s annual Festival of Remembrance tomorrow.

Mr Garthwaite suffered horrific injuries in 2010 when he took a direct hit from a Taliban rocket-propelled grenade while serving with The Queen’s Royal Lancers in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

In 2012, he made medical history by becoming the first person in the UK – and one of only a handful people in the world – to be fitted with a bionic arm.

The 27-year-old will be delivering a tribute to those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A number of North East veterans from World War Two will be presented with France’s highest military honour, the Legion d’honneur, awarded to thank them for the part they played in the liberation of France.

Major Eric Ingram, organiser of the concert, said: “We are honoured that the Festival of Remembrance Concert has been chosen as the occasion to present these veterans with this major honour from the French government.

“The concert aims to remember those who have given their lives for their country and serving soldiers who put their lives at risk for our liberties today, and it raises funds for the ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, so it could not be more fitting really.”

Tickets for the Festival of Remembrance Concert, which starts at 7pm, are priced from £10 to £18 and are available from the Gala Theatre box office on 03000 266 600 or www.galadurham.co.uk