Simon Weston in the living room of his home in Cardiff

Simon Weston (pictured) has shared the items of personal significance in the living room of his home in Cardiff

Simon Weston (pictured) has shared the items of personal significance in the living room of his home in Cardiff

1. METAL MAGIC

This framed album by AC/DC is one of my most treasured possessions. When I was back from the Falklands and in hospital my biological father gave me a cassette of the band’s LP For Those About To Rock. It was the last time I saw him. 

Years later, at a charity dinner I met AC/DC’s lead singer Brian Johnson’s ex-wife, who said she’d tell him I loved them. Soon after, out of the blue came a big parcel from New York. Inside was this beautiful framed platinum CD and cassette.

2. FAMILY OF FIGHTERS      

I have about 60 hand-painted pewter soldiers on display, including this infantryman from my regiment, the Welsh Guards. 

I joined up aged 16 because I’d been a passenger in a stolen car and my mum decided I needed discipline. 

My parents had met in the RAF – my father was an operating-theatre technician and my mother was a chef. My stepfather was in the RAF too and my grandfather had been in the Army during WWII. 

3. PICTURE THIS 

It was a thrill when I was chosen in a public vote to have my portrait painted and hung in the National Portrait Gallery in 2014. 

I thought one of the other nominees – perhaps Michael Palin or Barbara Windsor – would win, so I was stunned to be picked. I’m also very proud of the medals on the table in front of me – two for my military service in the Falklands and Northern Ireland, and my OBE and CBE.

Simon married his wife Lucy at the Guards' Chapel in London in 1990

Simon married his wife Lucy at the Guards’ Chapel in London in 1990

4. HAPPIEST DAY

I met my wife Lucy when I was living in Liverpool and working for a charity called Weston Spirit. I went there to do some good and I got a wife too! 

I thought Lucy was very pretty, and she told me later she really liked me when we first met, but I’ve never been the quickest on the uptake. 

We married at the Guards’ Chapel in London in 1990. I remember being so nervous about making a speech, which seems ridiculous now I make my living by giving motivational talks. 

5. MY BATTLE OF SURVIVAL 

This picture with my mum Pauline and stepdad Lofty was taken after I came back from the Falklands. 

I was so badly burnt and injured when the ship I was on, the Sir Galahad, was bombed, the surgeons didn’t think I’d survive the flight home. 

Neither my mother nor my grandmother recognised me when they first saw me bandaged up, and my mother went into shock. 

Those first few years were gruelling. At one point I was having one operation a week, and often had procedures redone, as infections would destroy the skin grafts. I’ve had 98 operations over the years. 

6. FINGER OF FUN    

Back in the 1980s I was doing some work for BBC Radio Wales. We went to Madame Tussauds, and after interviewing various people I was asked if I wanted a wax finger from a box of spares, so I picked one up as it appealed to my sense of humour. 

I don’t have a little finger on my left hand – I lost it as a result of my Falklands injuries – so it became a great source of amusement to me. When my grandchildren and nephews and nieces would ask where my finger was, I’d suddenly present this one and stick it in my ear or up my nose. 

As told to Roz Lewis. Simon Weston is president of the skin condition charity DEBRA, debra.org.uk, and military ambassador for the London Mint Office, londonmintoffice.org 

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