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Scooter loan helps make veteran Les Smith's day as he takes part in parade at the Great Lines in Gillingham.

By Lynn Cox

A war veteran proudly took his place at Medway’s Armed Forces Day parade thanks to the loan of a mobility scooter.

Les Smith fought during the Second World War and has been a regular face at forces events in the Towns for years.

Mr Smith, from Chatham, was unable to march in the parade as a result of a recent hip operation, but thanks to a fellow scooter user, he was able to take part.

Mobility company Quingo came to the rescue after lending services veteran Maurice Bernard a scooter when he was invited to a Buckingham Palace garden party.

Mr Bernard, a former Pride in Medway finalist who campaigned for better dementia care at Medway Maritime Hospital, thought the company could do the same for Mr Smith.

Les Smith on the scooter at the event in Gillingham.
Les Smith on the scooter at the event in Gillingham.

He said: “Quingo were kind enough to lend me a Quingo Air mobility scooter which easily dismantles into the boot of my car. This meant my daughter and I were able to get a lift with my son-in-law to Buckingham Palace.

“Prince Charles was very interested in my Quingo, and even asked how fast it went.

“When I heard about Les’s situation, I thought I would ask and see if they could help him like they helped me.”

Mr Smith added: “The Armed Forces Day parade is one of the highlights of my year and initially I was devastated when I found out I couldn’t go.

“The scooter gave me the ability to join the parade, which I’m so proud and privileged to have been a part of.

“I would like to thank Quingo and Maurice for getting in touch and bringing my story to their attention.”

Mark Nicholls, from Quingo, added: “When we heard about Mr Smith’s situation we were very happy to help. Considering what he has done for our country, it was the least we could do.”

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