Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I Couldn't Be Happier; Hero Soldier Home in Time to See the Birth of His First Child

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I Couldn't Be Happier; Hero Soldier Home in Time to See the Birth of His First Child

Article excerpt

Byline: By ALLI PYRAH

A TEESSIDE soldier who helped thwart a suicide bomb attack on a British Army convoy in Afghanistan, flew home just in time to see his girlfriend give birth to their first child.

Corporal Darren Clark, 21, saw fiancee Liz Cornfield, 22, give birth to a 7lb 15oz boy named Kieran Lewis Clark at 9.30am yesterday just hours after landing back home.

Corporal Clark, is home on two weeks' leave after returning from a mission in the Helmand Province when a Taliban car bomber suddenly attempted to steer into the convoy.

Corporal Clark, who was driving the first of the Pinzgauer vehicles through the western side of Gereshk town, managed to veer off and alert his colleagues. Meanwhile, his friend Corporal "Frodo" Wilbor, the top gunner of the vehicle, fired at the oncoming white Toyota Corolla, which swerved erratically.

Accurate shots from the rest of the patrol then caused the car to veer out of the way before it exploded.

Corporal Clark and Corporal Wilbor, from Northallerton, were praised by their commanding officer, Major Tony Phillips, who said he was "delighted" with their performance during the incident on October 22.

Back on Teesside, Corporal Clark told the Gazette it was good to be home and reunited with his family, especially his new son.

"I'm over the moon," he said. "I could not be more happy.

"I did not expect to see him being born. I expected him to come early. I had only been back a few hours."

He said while he was in Afghanistan he had to stay focussed and positive.

But after thwarting the suicide bomb attack all he could think of was returning back home.

"The first thing that came into my mind as soon as it finished was that I needed to get home and see my baby being born."

Liz, who has been with Corporal Clark for two years and lives with him in Middlesbrough's Berwick Hills estate said: "I'm just glad to have him home. …

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