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Last Updated: Friday, 15 June 2007, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK
Burns soldier plans wedding day
Michelle Clifford and L/Cpl Martyn Compton
Michelle Clifford and L/Cpl Martyn Compton will marry next year
A soldier from Kent who suffered horrific burn injuries in Afghanistan is to marry the woman he proposed to weeks before he went on active duty.

L/Cpl Martyn Compton was driving a tank when he was injured in a roadside bomb.

After the explosion last August, the 23-year-old was flown to the UK to be treated for 70% burns and a broken leg at the Broomfield Hospital, Essex.

The Staplehurst man, who has been given an award for courage, is to marry Michelle Clifford, 27, from Frittenden.

L/Cpl Compton was in Helmand province when the tank came under attack in a Taleban ambush.

He is set to marry his fiancee, a teacher, next summer.

He was the love of my life and I was going to be there for him no matter what
Michelle Clifford

Ms Clifford said: "Because his appearance has changed, he hasn't changed as a person.

"Everything I fell in love with is still the same - nothing has changed at all, his personality, or anything like that."

She added: "He was the love of my life and I was going to be there for him no matter what.

"The person has not changed - the outside has but the inside hasn't."

'A case of luck'

L/Cpl Compton said he managed to get out of the vehicle and get to cover, while covered in flames, and having been shot in his right leg.

He said: "Three months later I woke up in hospital.

"Sadly the people in my wagon died - I was the only survivor.

"I'm glad to be alive, lucky to be alive - it's a case of luck."

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