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Inspirational veteran to be honoured with the freeman of Diss

PUBLISHED: 12:21 20 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:21 20 April 2018

Duncan Slater who was injured in Afghanistan whilst serving with the Armed Forces. Picture: Duncan Slater

Duncan Slater who was injured in Afghanistan whilst serving with the Armed Forces. Picture: Duncan Slater

Archant

An inspirational veteran and double amputee is set to be honoured with the highest civic honours a town council can bestow upon an individual.

Amputee Duncan Slater carries the Unity Education Trust flag aheasd of his Marathon des Sables challenge in 2017. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAmputee Duncan Slater carries the Unity Education Trust flag aheasd of his Marathon des Sables challenge in 2017. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Diss Town Council voted unanimously to honour Sgt Duncan Slater with the honorary freeman of the town at this year’s Annual Town Meeting.

The honour has only been awarded once before, to the Royal Anglian Regiment in 2012 in recognition of the regiment’s close ties to the town and its service in Afghanistan.

In 2009 Sgt Slater, from Scole, suffered life changing injuries when the armoured vehicle he was travelling in was struck by a roadside bomb in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Since then, he has completed the London marathon and overcome adversity to become the first double amputee to reach the South Pole and finish the gruelling Marathon de Sables in the 45 degree heat of the Sahara desert.

Northgate High School pupils and children from their local partner schools get together to wish amputee Duncan Slater good luck ahead of his Sahara marathon adventure in 2017. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNorthgate High School pupils and children from their local partner schools get together to wish amputee Duncan Slater good luck ahead of his Sahara marathon adventure in 2017. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

As well as becoming an ambassador for the charity Walking With The Wounded, an organisation which helps and supports veterans reintegrate back into society and find sustainable employment.

Mayor of Diss, Trevor Wenman, who will present Sgt Slater with the freeman of the town on May 1, said: “The council wanted to recognise Duncan Slater in this unique way because of the inspirational nature of what he has achieved.

“In the service of his country Sgt Slater experienced the worst of humanity. In responding to his injuries he showed us the best of humanity by devoting his life to helping and inspiring others.”

During the meeting Mr Wenman will also present the honoured citizen and the junior good citizen awards, the winners of which will be announced on the night.

There will also be an opportunity for residents to speak to their councillors and find out what has been happening in their town over their last year.

The event will also feature information stalls on the Heritage Triangle, The Diss and District Neighbourhood Plan and volunteering opportunities within the town.

Starting at 6pm, the annual town meeting will be held in The United Reformed Church, in Mere Street. For more information visit www.diss.gov.uk

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