A presentation of poppies and poppy wreaths was made to ‘2 Rifles’ at the Dromore War Memorial, as the Battalion prepare for their final deployment to Afghanistan.
The presentation was facilitated by Brenda Hale MLA to the infantry unit who have been stationed at Thiepval Barracks in Lisburn, and based in Northern Ireland since 2007.
They will deploy to Afghanistan in August for six months to provide support to troops training the Afghan National Army.
The heavily-populated capital city of Afghanistan represents a marked change in environment to Helmand Province, where 2 Rifles have previously served. The Rifles have been one of the hardest-hit regiments during the war in Afghanistan. Mrs Hale’s husband Captain Mark James Hale was killed in August 2009 while retrieving three of his men from an IED explosion. Capt Hale, Lance Bombadier Matthew Hatten and Private Daniel Wild were killed when a second IED was detonated as part of a so-called ‘daisy chain’ of devices.
Brenda Hale said: “The poignancy of sending poppies from Dromore to Afghanistan where they grow and among which so many of our soldiers were killed, is beyond words, and to leave our poppy wreaths behind – especially as we are reflecting and remembering the beginning of the Great War - is both humbling and deserving as we teach our children how to remember”.