Lewisham Hospital surgeon provides landmine advice to new British film

This Is Local London: Mr Chaloner in Rwanda Mr Chaloner in Rwanda

A SURGEON who once served in the army treating landmine injuries is giving expert advice to the makers of a new war film.

Eddie Chaloner, from Beckenham, works as a consultant vascular surgeon at Lewisham Hospital and in Blackheath, but it his previous experience in the 144 Parachute Squadron along with work for landmine charities, which has seen him called in to help the film-makers.

After being contacted through a network for ex-soldiers, he is now advising the team behind Kajaki, which centres around the true story of paratrooper Corporal Mark Wright who detonated an Afghanistan landmine and the subsequent rescue mission to get him out.

Mr Chaloner said: "They were keen for me to help with the film because they wanted to make it realistic and not just Hollywood nonsense."

The surgeon went on: "When I met the film people I was initially a little bit sceptical. But the reason I'm here to help is because I don't think they're trying to make it something it isn't.

"The film shows soldiers are ordinary people. Their job takes them to extraordinary places sometimes and sometimes, when faced with difficult decision they have to do extraordinary things."

This Is Local London: Kajaki

The consultant, who left the Army in 2002 after working in conflicts like Afhganistan, Iraq and Bosnia, is advising the film team on correct medical techniques, equipment and the effects of landmines.

Mr Chaloner explained: "I've seen people being blown up in front of me in close proximity.

"With a landmine it doesn't happen quite as you might think, it's not a flash or fireball and someone propelled 50ft in the air.

"There's a muffled bang and a lot of disorder produced in a county like Afghanistan.

"They don't really get thrown in the air, they fall over really. Then for a split second there's a silence, then the shouting starts."

Pukka Films have a budget of £1m and need to raise £40,000 of from public donations. To donate visit kajakimovie.com

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