Afghanistan veteran Duncan Slater makes final four for Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons
An RAF sergeant from Scole, who lost both his legs in combat, is now one of just four finalists in with a chance of picking up an Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons.
Earlier this year, Duncan Slater was named as one of 10 finalists for the ‘Against all Odds’ award, which goes to “a person who has overcome adversity to take on an exceptional challenge” – after raising thousands of pounds for a number of military charities.
Leading up to the awards presentation on Tuesday, the 10-man short-list was cut down to four, with Mr Slater still in the running.
The 42-year-old, who is originally from Muir of Ord, near Inverness, Scotland, joined the RAF Regiment when he was 19, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who both served in the RAF.
In 2009, he broke almost every bone in his body and lost both legs when the armoured vehicle he was travelling in was struck by a roadside bomb in Helmand Province while on patrol in Afghanistan.
After spending five months in hospital, he used his new prosthetic legs to cycle 800 miles from Land’s End to John o’Groats, raising more than £12,000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund, alongside his friend Christopher Moore.
“For me, it was just a case of ‘do your best’ but we cracked it in 10 days,” said Mr Slater.
“When we got to the top of Scotland, my family, most of whom are from that area, were waiting for me. It gave me such a buzz.”
In 2013, he became the first double-leg amputee to ski to the South Pole and, in 2016, he took on the Marathon Des Sables, dubbed the ‘toughest footrace on Earth’ – a six-day ultra-marathon across the Sahara desert.
After failing to complete the challenge, he went back and successfully completed the 156-mile slog the following year, becoming the first amputee to do so.
More recently, in July last year, he walked 72 miles non-stop for 26 hours along Boudicca Way, a long-distance footpath linking Diss and Norwich.
For his efforts, he was made a Honorary Freeman of Diss at the town’s annual meeting in front of his wife, Kim, 37, and daughter, Lilly, 11.
He will now be invited to the virtual awards presentation on Tuesday. The event will be hosted by BBC1 TV Breakfast and Radio 5 Live presenter Rachel Burden, with Falklands War hero Simon Weston as guest of honour.