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Colonel David Richmond CBE, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was injured on 12 June 2008 whilst commanding his Battle Group just north of Musa Qaleh, near a village they called ‘Kats’.
‘The troops were engaged in some feisty firefights as they made their way into Kats. I was monitoring the progress across the Battle Group but then we moved to some higher ground to confirm reference points and other details. There was a long and intense burst of fire from over my left shoulder. One of the rounds entered through the back of my right thigh, shattering my femur and exited through the front.’
A medic applied a tourniquet, dressings and gave David morphine as the firefight continued. He was taken to Camp Bastion where he was operated on immediately. The following night, David was flown to Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham where he spent five weeks having treatment and further operations. He had lost 5 centimetres of bone and was later to have a further 5 centimetres removed. After various consultations at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, he made the decision to have his damaged leg lengthened and after three and a half years and six more major operations, his leg is now the right length and, although very weak, reasonably functional. During his recovery, David spent a lot of time at Headley Court, ‘You need look no further than Headley Court for inspiration; the young men and women are relentlessly positive. When I have a bad day I need only to look at them to realise just how lucky I am.’
Doing their bit
David and his wife Alison are both heavily involved in Help for Heroes. Alison heads up the Band of Sisters network, while David is Recovery Director responsible for all four Help for Heroes Recovery Centres in Tidworth, Catterick, Colchester and Plymouth. He also looks after the H4H fellowship organisations, Band of Brothers and Band of Sisters; the H4H Sports Recovery adaptive sports and adventure training programmes; Welfare; Psychological Wellbeing; Health and Physical Wellbeing; Training, Development and Education; and Grant giving.
He said: ‘I am one of the wounded and in a previous life, I was a relatively senior officer so I hope I can bring together both of those perspectives and bring those experiences to the Recovery Centres. I am in the position where I can see things not just from the perspective of an organisation trying to help, but from the perspective of the people we are trying to help. The Recovery Centres aren't just for the injured but for the families to come for support and help too because so often, it’s not the soldier who will stick his hand up and say he has a problem, it’s the families who do it and they will have problems too. We are here for all of them.’
David was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2012.