Log in to your Paradata account to identify personnel with our image tagging tool.
Following an initial assessment of the damage and the work required to make the crossing capable of carrying tractors once again, the necessary materials for the job were transported to nearby Checkpoint Perkha by the Paras. To do this, they made several journeys by quad bike - the only vehicle capable of getting through the series of narrow tracks running between irrigated fields. A team of six engineers, led by Lieutenant Keith McDougall, then began the task of building the new bridge. Firstly the abutments were shored up with pickets and corrugated iron sheeting, then a deck was constructed, consisting of timber baulks held together with a giant iron staple and resting on sandbags. Sapper Cameron Hume drew the short straw and entered the freezing water of the irrigation ditch to help position the pickets. His eventual comment of 'I can no longer feel my hands' prompted his removal to warm up a little in the winter morning sunshine before completing the job. Meanwhile, a crowd of grateful locals gathered, showing great interest in the engineers' work. A number of children amongst them needed no encouragement to get involved in the hammering of pickets into the ground, whilst others assisted with the filling of sandbags and removal of wooden tree trunks from the old bridge.