Belfast Telegraph

RIR soldiers to be honoured in stone

The names of three RIR soldiers killed on the regiment’s latest tour of duty in Afghanistan will be engraved on a national memorial.

They were Ranger Aaron McCormick, (22), killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) in November 2010; Ranger David Dalzell, (20), killed in February, and Lance Corporal Stephen McKee, (27), killed by an IED in March.

The painstaking task of engraving the names of all UK servicemen and women killed in 2010 was due to begin yesterday.

The news came as their First Battalion RIR comrades marched through the town of Market Drayton in Shropshire for a homecoming parade at the end of their gruelling tour.

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets of the town to welcome the returning soldiers and officers.

Homecoming parades will be held in Northern Ireland later this year to mark the soldiers' return.

The month-long process of etching the names of all the military personnel who were killed on duty or through terrorism in 2010 will start at The National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas in Staffordshire.

The engraver, Nick Hindle, will carefully trace the characters of the first names of the 112 that are to be engraved, before picking up his hammer and chisel to make the first mark in the Portland stone memorial.

The 112 deaths in 2010 represent one of the largest tolls of the last 20 years.

The names of the Fallen will also be read out and dedicated in a special service for families later in the year.

The National Memorial Arboretum, which is affiliated to the Royal British Legion, is the UK’s year-round centre for remembrance.

The Armed Forces Memorial, dedicated in the presence of the Queen in 2007, is the UK's tribute to the 16,000 men and women who have been killed on duty or as a result of terrorist action since 1948.

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