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Army hero ties the knot
12:27pm Mon Feb 25, 2013
 
Hero Army medic Hayley Ridgeway on Saturday married the soldier who carried her to an evacuation helicopter after she had been wounded.
The happy couple.
The happy couple.
Hayley became Mrs Scott Reading at a service in the Drawing Room at Kelham Hall, watched by about 40 guests.

The newly-weds held their reception at the Carriage Court at Kelham Hall.

Scott, a corporal with 1 Rifles, who is more used to seeing his bride in khaki and camouflage paint, told the Advertiser: "She looks beautiful. It's been a really happy day."

Hayley, from Syerston, said: "We're looking forward to spending our lives together. I think I was about as nervous in Afghanistan as I was today but it's been great.

"I've never been a girlie girl but I've really enjoyed the whole day."

Newark Patriotic Fund, which helps local wounded and their families, organised a discount on the wedding venue, paid for a limousine and a wedding night at Langar Hall which was the only immediate honeymoon the couple could manage as they both had to return to their units.

On August 12 last year, a patrol from Hayley and Scott's platoon was hit by an IED attack. Seven members of the patrol, including Hayley, were injured.

Despite having ball-bearings wedged in her legs, Hayley refused medical assistance for herself for 51/2 hours until the last of the injured were evacuated.

She was screaming with pain by the time she was ordered to leave her post.

Scott bandaged her wounds and carried her to a helicopter.

Hayley was awarded a Mention in Dispatches for her actions.

Hayley Ridgeway in Afghanistan.
Hayley Ridgeway in Afghanistan.
On Saturday, she wore a traditional classic ivory wedding dress made by All Things Bride and Beautiful of Ollerton, which had a train that covered her blast injuries.

The dresses of her two bridesmaids were in the dark green of The Rifles and her page boy wore a specially-tailored miniature Rifles uniform with a corporal's stripes, just like Scott's.

Up to 40 members of 1st Battalion The Rifles, including some treated by Hayley, were among the 130 guests at the wedding reception.

Among them was the mother of Lieutenant Dan Clack whose life Hayley fought to save after the bomb blast.

Lieutenant Clack died on the flight to Bastion Hospital.

Hayley has become close to his mum Sue since his death.

Hayley, 24, and Scott, also 24, from Banbury, were already a couple when they deployed to Afghanistan.

The Army's strict code usually prohibits family members or couples from serving in the same unit on the frontline, but Lt Clack was adamant he couldn't do without either his medic or her rifleman boyfriend so they deployed together to the same checkpoint.

Hayley, a former pupil at Toot Hill School, Bingham, is due to return to Afghanistan in September.

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