War film depicting Leyland surgeon’s experiences hits the silver screen tomorrow

Filming of Kajaki
Filming of Kajaki
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Eddie Chaloner, a surgeon and former paratrooper, was asked to share his expertise on landmines to advise on Kajaki, by Pukka Films.

The 50-year-old has also worked with landmine charities, and described the realism of the new film as “absolutely amazing”.

Eddie Chaloner at the premiere of Kajaki with wife Anne

Eddie Chaloner at the premiere of Kajaki with wife Anne

“When I got involved in it I was a bit sceptical because I don’t know much about film makers, but I’m not an arty person – I’m a bit of an uber realist”, said Eddie.

“I said to the director, if you are going to make this into some sort of Hollywood stuff, I’m not interested.

“I’ve been to war, and war isn’t what you think it is.

“Soldiers don’t speak to each other like they do in films, and if you are a military person you watch films and it really irritates you.”

Filming of Kajaki

Filming of Kajaki

The feature-length movie, to be shown in cinemas from tomorrow, recounts the last hours in the life of paratrooper Cpl Mark Wright in the Afghan area of the film’s title.

The 27-year-old was leading an attempt to rescue a three-man patrol injured by landmines when he was fatally wounded by a blast in 2006.

Eddie, who joined 144 Parachute Squadron in 1990 and has also worked for the HALO trust, advised on correct medical techniques and equipment, and said he was amazed by the film.

He said: “It’s absolutely astonishing, it’s just like being there.

“These days, not that many people serve in the army and even fewer deploy.

“The public don’t really understand what it is they do when the chips are down and that’s the great strength of this film – it really shows what happens when things get really tough.

“I have done a lot of stuff with landmines, with the army and the HALO trust.

“For a decade landmines were my thing – helping to dig them up and operating on people.

“I was able to share that information, show photographs of landmine injuries, what it would look like, smell like, sound like in real life.”

The film premiered in London, and was also shown in other cities, with all profits donated to soldiers’ charities.

Eddie, who went to the premier with wife Anne, said: “There are a number of reasons it is important.

“The core audience is going to be soldiers, ex soldiers and families, but it’s really important the general public see it because they get a better understanding of what this stuff is all about. When you see it, it’s a phenomenal product.

“We were all amazed by what a great job they have done and what an amazing film it is.”