Welwyn Hatfield-born soldier survives Afghanistan bomb blast

06:59 17 January 2011

Lance Corporal William Reeks recovers in hospital, flanked by medical staff carrying Christmas hampers from Tesco Hatfield, where William

Lance Corporal William Reeks recovers in hospital, flanked by medical staff carrying Christmas hampers from Tesco Hatfield, where William's mum works as a customer services team leader

Archant

A HERO soldier survived being blown 16ft in the air by a massive booby trap in Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal William Reeks and wife Kerry on their wedding day

Brave Lance Corporal William Reeks, who grew up in Hatfield and WGC, was on a routine patrol, when his tough armoured Warthog vehicle struck the 50kg improvised explosive device (IED).

Despite the huge explosion, LCpl Reeks who is in the Royal Tank Regiment, survived.

His mum Anita Lee, of Attimore Road, WGC, said: “He’s on the road to recovery.”

And his family credited the heavy duty Warthog patrol vehicle with saving the 27-year-old’s life.

He suffered internal injuries, a broken vertebrae and blast damage to his legs, but Anita said: “He’s a very, very lucky boy.

“It is thanks to the Army changing over to Warthogs, which are bigger stronger vehicles.”

She said medics were “happy” with the former Monk’s Walk pupil’s progress.

She added: “He’s coming along nicely, but I don’t want to jinx it because he has a very long way to go”.

Mrs Lee also said: “His wife and family are extremely proud of of the work he does as a soldier and we’re extremely proud of all our servicepeople in Afghanistan.

“And thanks for all the support we’ve received from the Army and his regiment.”

Lance Corporal Reeks spent Christmas in hospital with his wife Kerry and children Brooke, 10, Daisy, seven, Keira, five, Alexis, three, and eight-month-old Rylan by his side.

Mrs Lee thanked family and friends who had asked after her son’s wellbeing.

And LCpl Reeks’ cousin Arash Nakhjavan has organised a charity fundraiser in his honour.

The event, to raise money for charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers which is dedicated to supporting the children of men and women killed in action while serving with the British Armed Forces, will be held at the Harrier Assembly Hall, at the Harrier pub, Bishops Close, Hatfield on Friday, February 4.

Arash, of Furzen Crescent, Hatfield, said: “I first wanted to do the event to raise money for them [William and his family] because he spent Christmas in hospital, so he can have a holiday, but he said he’d give the money to Scotty’s Little Soldiers.”

The fundraiser will feature three DJs and live band The Revivals and is on from 8pm to 12.30am and entry is £5.

Arash is also on the look out for raffle prizes to give away on the day.

He added: “I’m really grateful to everyone who has got involved.”

To offer prizes or buy tickets call the WHT newsdesk on 01707 384180 or email news@whtimes.co.uk

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