Sidmouth mechanic offers to fix fellow serviceman’s vehicle for free after damage

PUBLISHED: 12:30 07 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:39 10 December 2018

Gordon Legg and Jo Watson outside The Elizabeth Hotel. Ref shs 49 18TI 6258. Picture: Terry Ife

Gordon Legg and Jo Watson outside The Elizabeth Hotel. Ref shs 49 18TI 6258. Picture: Terry Ife

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An ex-serviceman and mechanic is using his skills to help a comrade who lost both his legs in conflict after his vehicle was damaged.

Ben Hilton who was injured in Afghanistan resulting in both of his legs being amputated above the knee. Picture: Ben HiltonBen Hilton who was injured in Afghanistan resulting in both of his legs being amputated above the knee. Picture: Ben Hilton

Gordon Legg, from Sidmouth, has volunteered to fix Ben Hilton’s Land Rover for free to allow him to continue his work as a member of his local search and rescue team in Scotland.

Ben has been left without a vehicle as insurers would not cover the repair to the cross member and chassis legs due to previous works being carried out.

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

To cover the cost of parts, accommodation, and the cost of Ben’s fuel, Gordon has started a fundraising page, with any remaining proceeds to be donated to a cause of Ben’s choice.

Gordon Legg and Jo Watson outside The Elizabeth Hotel. Ref shs 49 18TI 6256. Picture: Terry IfeGordon Legg and Jo Watson outside The Elizabeth Hotel. Ref shs 49 18TI 6256. Picture: Terry Ife

The East Devon Garage owner, who served in the Coldstream Guards for 17 years, said: “Since leaving the army I have returned to my previous trade as a mechanic.

“I would like to help a man that served our county, a family man, a man who goes above and beyond without complaint.

“As an amputee Ben has had to adapt to life again. Using his mental strength and mobility adaptations this has been made possible.

“Unfortunately his adapted vehicle has been damaged in a road traffic accident.

“This is detrimental to his way life as he can no longer do simple tasks, but more importantly Ben is a natural helper and it’s in his nature to strive to do good deeds for others.

“I feel it’s important not only to praise Ben for his hard work during his service and as part of the rescue team but also to show how our own community can make a big difference.”

As part of the fundraising, Gordon was looking to secure somewhere for Ben to stay while he carries out the work early next year and said it was ‘unbelievable’ when the Elizabeth Hotel offered a room.

Jo Watson, general manager of the hotel, said the hotel will offer Ben free B&B accommodation after being told by a regular customer.

She added: “He advised us of the situation and we were only too delighted to offer some support to someone who had offered so much in the military services.”

Dorset Auto Spares of Honiton and Brookwells Land Rover specialists have offered car parts and Kingsdown Garage have offered to carry out an MOT free of charge.

Visit www.gofundme.com/ben-hilton-4x4-angel to donate.

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