Bernie Broad explains how preparing for Prince Harry’s Invictus Games changed his life
On 29 November 2009, while serving with the Grenadier Guards in Afghanistan, Major Bernie Broad’s life changed when an improvised device blew up the lorry in which he was travelling. Both his legs had to be amputated below the knee and, in 2014, he retired from the Army.
Now, three years on, Bernie is taking part in the third Invictus Games, which begin in Toronto, Canada, next week.
The Games were founded by Prince Harry in 2014, bringing together sick and wounded veterans and serving Armed Forces personnel from across the world to compete in a variety of sports. Bernie is one of four members of the UK team whose stories feature in a new BBC1 documentary.
‘I needed something to make me stand up tall again, so I had to apply,’ says Bernie. ‘Immediately, something started to fire up in me and I’ve never felt more like my old self.’
Meeting Prince Harry has been a highlight, too. ‘He’s been through the services, so he gets it,’ says Bernie. ‘We owe him a massive thank-you.’
Two faces… Barry and his megastar alter ego, Dame Edna Bernie with Harry, and (inset) in service