“He was my inspiration, he goes everywhere with me”.
The words of Huddersfield woman Gemma Frampton as she completed an arduous climb of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, in tribute to a hero soldier.
She took a photograph of her brother Pte Anton Frampton on the climb. He was on of six soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan two years ago.
And she was joined on the trek by Russell Shaw, father of Golcar hero Lance Cpl Graham Shaw, 27, and Caroline Whittaker, mother of a third soldier, Sgt Gareth Thursby, two other victims of the Afghan conflict.
They were in a group who completed the climb up the 1,344m high mountain in glorious sunshine to raise many hundreds of pounds for Army charities.
Gemma completed a skydive last year in memory of Anton, 20, and now she has completed the challenge of scaling Ben Nevis in aid of SSAFA - the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Families Association. Pte Frampton, 20, of Longwood, was killed in March 2012 along with two other Huddersfield soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment, Cpl Jake Hartley and Pte Daniel Wilford.
They and three others were in an armoured troop carrier which hit an improvised explosive device in Helmand province.
Gemma said: “It was a fabulous day and I’m so proud.
“The weather was boiling hot and it was very arduous, but managed to get to the top and back again in seven hours.
“Russell and I had photos of Graham and Anton and we wanted them to eb there with us at the summit.
“Losing Anton was the worst thing to happen but because of this, he has helped me focus on changing my life for the better and helping other people and giving back to the charity that saved our lives.
“He is my inspiration and there were times on the trek when I thought of giving up but I knew he would want me to carry on.
“He’ll be there for my next challenge, whatever that is. I quite fancy tackling Mount Kilimanjaro”.
Gemma has raised more than £700 with more pledged.