Portrait of a hero

Ben parkinson with painting of himself
Ben parkinson with painting of himself

A South Yorkshire war veteran who lost both his legs fighting in Afghanistan has been presented with a portrait of himself.

Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson, from Doncaster, received the portrait – depicting him dressed in his army uniform with his medals – from Barnsley artist Shaun Rowley, at the Pilgrim Bandits Charity Ball in Doncaster.

Members of Home Instead Senior Care, in Sheffield and Barnsley, which commissioned the portrait, said Ben and his family were ‘delighted’ with the artwork and Diane Parkinson, Ben’s mother, had ‘tears in her eyes’.

Kathy Markwick, of Home Instead, said: “The ball was brilliant and superbly organised by Pilgrim Bandits.”

Charity Pilgrim Bandits works to ‘help and inspire wounded soldiers to live life to the full’.

Ruth Moore, from Sheffield-based legal firm Irwin Mitchell, which invited many veterans to have a seat at its table at the ball, said: “The portrait was really amazing, a very lovely and generous gift.

“The artist certainly captured Ben well.”

Lance Bombardier Parkinson is the most severely injured soldier to survive from Afghanistan, suffering more than 40 injuries in a bomb attack.