Double amputee, Private Mark Allen of the 1st Royal Anglians was on his first tour of Afghanistan in 2010 when
his patrol hit an Improvised Explosive Device. He lost both legs along with digits from each hand and had severe
damage to his face and neck. Mark was 19. He was in hospital for seven weeks and is in a wheelchair to this day.
Treatment to repair his skin trauma is ongoing but Mark is incredibly upbeat because, as he says, many troops
have far worse injuries. However, all the time spent recovering helped him to discover his fighting spirit…along
On 1st August 2006 Lance Corporal Martyn Compton of the Household Cavalry suffered horrific burns to 75%
of his body when his armoured vehicle was ambushed by the Taliban using an Improvised Explosive Device,
killing his 3 comrades. Rocket-propelled grenades followed, which blew the engine up and engulfed him in
flames. He managed to crawl out, but was targeted with gunfire, getting shot twice. Severely injured, he was
in a coma for three months and has undergone approximately 500 hours of operations and years of rehabilitation,
and this is ongoing.
Gary joined The Royal Corp of Signals in 1983 aged 17, with various postings in the UK and Germany. It was
whilst in Germany that he was crushed by a truck, suffering multiple external and internal injuries which led to
abdominal surgery to remove damaged intestines. He suffered a life-threatening DVT plus was diagnosed with
severe depression and PTSD. Sadly, he also lost his son at this time, so coupled with the depression and PTSD,
he turned to alcohol, which in turn led to obesity…he weighed over 25 stone. On 19th March, 2013 he decided
enough was enough, and became teetotal. He also took up running and has succeeded in losing 160lbs.
Back on Track are working with Gary to address surgical issues as well as issues caused by PTSD.
Jamie was an army reservist and 32 years old when, in 2007 whilst in America during a routine solo flight training for his Private Pilot’s license, he noticed a thin streak of flame coming from the aircraft’s engine. Recognising the immediate danger, he attempted to bring the small aircraft down for an emergency landing. As it was summer, he was wearing only shorts and a T-shirt, so he managed to free himself from the cockpit and clamber to the wing where he stood until the aircraft was only 20 feet from the ground……. and jumped.
Jamie sustained 60% third-degree burns to his body causing renal failure, which meant he had to undergo kidney dialysis. Pneumonia and septicaemia followed and he remained in intensive care for 6 months in America and an induced coma for a further 6 months in the UK. He was given a 5% chance of survival. Since then Jamie has undergone over 50 operations and is currently being treated by Dr. Khan.
MICHAEL SWAIN MBE
I joined the Army in September 2006, straight from school, joining The Rifles where I was sent to 3rd battalion in Edinburgh. During my time in battalion I was sent on exercise in Kenya and The Falklands and passed my PTI course, before deploying to Afghanistan in September 2009.
On the morning of 8th November that year, I was on foot patrol in Sangin, a town in the Helmand province in Afghanistan and whilst heading into the southern green zone we crossed a derelict open field, where I was hit by an I.E.D which resulted in my losing both legs above knee along with shrapnel wounds to my arms. I am currently being treated by Dr. Khan.