A SOLDIER who lost his leg in Afghanistan will be walking tall when he joins his regiment to march through Chester at the weekend.
Now Army chiefs are calling on the people of Chester to give a rousing reception to the 200 marching squaddies.
Former Upton High School pupil Lance Corporal Phil Meadows will be greeted by the Lord Mayor during a ‘home-coming parade’ for his regiment, the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards, at 11am on Saturday.
The march will be particularly poignant, coming just one week after eight soldiers died in Afghanistan.
Phil, 23, wears a prosthetic right limb after his armoured vehicle was blown up by a road-side bomb last November.
He was walking again within six weeks and can now cycle, swim and was recently featured skiing in a BBC report.
On Saturday Phil, whose wife and daughter Lacey, three, live in Blacon, will be in Chester with soldiers from his regiment.
Phil, who would like to remain in the Army as a radio operator, said: “It could have been worse. I could have been killed, I could have lost both legs.”
He recalls ‘kicking off’ when medics told him he may lose his leg.
And Phil, whose ex-Cheshire Regiment father Andrew lives with his sister Lucy, 21, in Vicars Cross, admits having suffered depression.
“I’ve had times when I’ve wanted to push my loved ones away,” he said.
But Phil retains a sense of humour. He even has a leopard skin fur lining on his false leg which he calls “prosthetic bling”.
Tomorrow (Friday) the Duke of Westminster will receive a £1,200 cheque on behalf of the British Limbless Ex Service Men’s Association from Phil’s comrades who took part in a sponsored 6,000 cycle ride on gym machines.