Army

Heroic Soldier Back For Historic Gun Salute After Breaking Neck

Lance Bombardier Grace Gostelow was seriously injured after saving lives at a Royal Horse Artillery rehearsal in 2016.

Lance Bombardier Gostelow: "My job is in the Army, I love the Army and it's great to be back with the Troop and the horses" (Picture: British Army).

A soldier from The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery who suffered a broken neck while risking her life to save others returned to the saddle for the Accession Day Gun Salute in Green Park, London.

Lance Bombardier Grace Gostelow received a Commendation for Bravery last year for her selfless efforts in stopping a tonne-and-a-half gun carriage and a team of runaway horses from ploughing into onlookers.

The accident happened while the Troop rehearsed in London's Charlton Park in 2016.

"My job is in the Army, I love the Army and it's great to be back with the Troop and the horses: the horses are the biggest thing for me.

"To get back on board is a milestone. It's good to crack on and forget that it happened".

After fellow soldiers were thrown by bucking steeds, she was left to control six galloping horses and a First World War gun on her own.

The mounted gunner managing to regain control and steer the team to safety, but was left seriously injured after hitting a tree.

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery are the ceremonial saluting battery of Her Majesty's Household Division (Cover picture: British Army).

For LBdr Gostelow, Wednesday marked the first time she has been riding a horse on parade since her accident.

The event marked the 67th anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen's Accession to the throne in 1952.

As crowds watched on, the guns were fired 41 times - 21 for the traditional salute and an extra 20 because it was in a Royal Park.

The Lance Bombardier feared she would be paralysed following the incident (Picture: Army HQ).
Lance Bombardier Gostelow feared she would be paralysed following the incident (Picture: British Army).

LBdr Gostelow said: "Being in wheels is a bit like driving a car with a trailer - you have to negotiate the gun coming around as well otherwise if you turn too suddenly, it could flip the gun."

“Obviously the accident wasn’t good for me in terms of being injured, but it was the best possible result… because it ceased a runaway gun carriage, which could have injured the rest of my unit and the general public.”