Cpl Leslie Wareham injured after Warthog vehicle drove over IED device in Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Cpl Leslie Wareham cheated death for the fourth time after being blown up in Helmand Province, Afghanistan
A soldier has told how he cheated death for a fourth time after being ‘blown up’ while serving in Afghanistan.
Cpl Leslie Wareham had just finished carrying out an operation in the desert when the Warthog vehicle he was in charge of drove over an improvised explosive device (IED) in Helmand Province.
The blast blew the 29-year-old two feet into the air out of the turret where he was keeping watch.
He then dropped back down into the carrier, causing ligament and tendon damage to his right knee.
He returned to England on Friday, nine days after the explosion, and is now recovering at the home he shares with his fiancée Debbie Wylie in Lower Halstow.
It isn’t the first time the former Robert Napier School pupil has had a close brush with death during his three tours of duty in the war-torn country.
Twice in 2007 and once in 2010 the Mastiff vehicle he was travelling in triggered an IED.
Each time he escaped with just cuts and bruises.
“I’ll be the first to say I’ve been lucky but I think I’m running low on lives now,” he said.
Leslie on duty in Afghanistan
In the latest incident, Cpl Wareham’s vehicle plus five others under his command were on their way back to base when the device went off.
He said: “We look for signs that an IED might be hidden under the ground but we didn’t spot anything, in fact, two vehicles in front of us had already gone over it first.
The bar armour, wheel and tracks were blown off.
At home after suffering ligament and tendon damage to his right knee
“We think it had been there for a while and it had sunk down but as the vehicles were going over it, it was moving more and more. We were just the unlucky ones that set it off.
“I rang Debbie first of all and told her I was in hospital but I was OK. She was pretty upset.”
“I’ll be the first to say I’ve been lucky but I think I’m running low on lives now” - Cpl Leslie Wareham
Surprisingly his recent brush with death hasn’t put him off from returning to the front line.
He said: “I’m going to be off for about a month but I hope to return to the same role.
“I’m on crutches and I’ve got an appointment with a consultant... to see if I need physiotherapy or an operation to fix the damage.
“The biggest thing for me is that I’m here in the UK away from my guys. It’s frustrating.”
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