Sidmouth mechanic carries out repairs to help military comrade get back on the road

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 February 2019

Gordon Legg hands the keys back to Ben Hilton after repairing Ben's land rover. Ref shs 06 19TI 9034. Picture: Terry Ife

Gordon Legg hands the keys back to Ben Hilton after repairing Ben's land rover. Ref shs 06 19TI 9034. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

A military amputee is back on the road after his mechanic comrade stepped in to fix his damaged vehicle.

Gordon Legg, from Sidmouth, volunteered his time to repair Ben Hilton’s 4x4 after it was damaged in a road traffic accident.

The newly repaired vehicle will allow Ben to continue working as a member of his local search and rescue team in Scotland.

Ben had been left without his vehicle after insurers refused to cover the repairs to the cross member and chassis legs due to previous works being carried out.

The Herald reported about Gordon’s generosity back in December, which saw hundreds of pounds donated towards the cost of parts, accommodation and Ben’s fuel to travel down from Scotland.

Both men served in the Coldstream Guards, where Ben was injured in Afghanistan, resulting in both of his legs being amputated above the knee.

After serving with the guards for 17 years, Gordon returned to his trade as a mechanic.

The East Devon Garage owner said he was worried the project might come undone after one of the necessary parts looked to be delayed due to last week’s wintry conditions.

Gordon said: “On Wednesday, the cross member was meant to have arrived, and I thought I should have had it, but we were not going to get it until the Tuesday because of the snow.

“We had booked the hotel, and Ben had left and been on the road five to six hours to come down, and it looked like it was unravelling and coming undone at the seams.”

After securing a new cross member and facing a tight turnaround, Gordon spent 14 hours working on the vehicle, allowing Ben to head back to Scotland at the end of the weekend.

The pair were then able to relax after the Exeter branch of the Coldstream Guards organised a meal on Saturday night at the Hotel Elizabeth.

As part of his fundraising efforts, Gordon had looked to secure accomodation for Ben during the works and said he was amazed when the hotel offered a room.

The branch also presented a donation of £350 towards the project.

Gordon said: “It was really good. There was a fair few people there we had both served with.”

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