Scots war hero Mark Wright to feature in TV show

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Mark Wright on patrol in Afghanistan

By Cara Sulieman

THE STORY of a Scottish soldier who received the George Cross after his death in Afghanistan is to be told on television.

Mark Wright was injured in a minefield in 2006 and will feature in a documentary about George Cross Heroes, based on a book by deputy Tory chairman Lord Ashcroft.

The Discovery Channel programme is being made to tie in with the opening of a new gallery at the Imperial War Museum in London which will feature Lord Ashcroft’s collection of George Crosses and Victoria Crosses.

Corporal Wright’s father Bob runs the Mark Wright Project in Dalkeith with his wife Jem and he went down to London to be interviewed for George Cross Heroes.

He said: “I went down for an interview. They wanted four recipients of the George Cross and Mark was one of them.

“Talking about it was emotional.

“It never gets any easier.”

Bob hopes the programme will highlight his worries about equipment, a subject that was brought up during the inquest into Mark’s death.

Mark died after he was injured in a minefield in Helmand province.

Trying to help an injured soldier, he had called in a helicopter but none were available.

A Chinook helicopter was sent to help but the fierce downdraft is thought to have blown a mine into the air which struck Mark in the chest.

He died three hours later.

Mark’s death was blamed on a lack of equipment; with coroner Andrew Walker saying that MoD bosses should “hang their heads in shame”.

Bob and Jem Wright have problems with the equipment provided to soldiers

Now Bob hopes that the programme will highlight these issues, which he claims have never been addressed by the army.

He said: “I think what they’re emphasising is the lack of helicopters and it’s still the same, nothing’s changed from the day of the inquest.

“They said lessons had to be learned, but they haven’t. I’m in touch with people who are going out there still, and it hasn’t changed.

“The deaths still continue, and I think putting it to a wider audience will help.

“It’s important that everybody will know what happened – to tell people how brave Mark was, but also to tell everyone why he died.”

An army spokeswoman said that they didn’t have any problems with equipment.

She said: “It’s not a problem; everybody’s got what they need.

“You might not get a British helicopter; you’ll get a coalition helicopter because we’re working as a team.

“Everybody would like infinite resources but we’re not going to get them.

“The people who receive any honours and awards are the epitome of the standards that the British Army instil in people – selfless commitment and courage, and everyone is grateful for everything they’ve done.

“It’s a shame this one was posthumous – but his parents must be incredibly proud of him.”

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