'I lost my leg in Iraq'

Topic Selected: Armed Forces

General Article icon Type: General Article

Sergeant Mark Sutcliffe works at Selly Oak Hospital supporting injured military personnel. Three years ago he was a patient there himself when he lost a leg in Iraq.

Sergeant Sutcliffe, 29, from Peterborough, joined the army at 17, becoming a member of 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, known as ‘The Poachers’ (part of the Desert Rats). He worked in Cyprus, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and Sierra Leone and was then posted to Iraq in 2006.

After he lost his leg in combat, two goals helped him through the long months of recovery: ‘I wanted to walk again and get back into uniform because they’re the things I did before,’ he says. With expert care and hard work, he has achieved both.

The incident

On July 18 2006, Sergeant Sutcliffe was on foot patrol in Basra when a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) was fired at him. An RPG is an anti-armour weapon, primed to detonate on hard impact.

‘The RPG hit me dire

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