herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Kate honours Irish Guard heroes of Afghan war

Kate Middleton presented Afghanistan campaign medals to soldiers of the Irish Guards in her first military duty as a royal.

The British army regiment, affectionately nicknamed 'The Micks', includes many Irish and Dublin-born soldiers.

One Dubliner, Lance Corporal Ian Malone (28), of the 1st Battalion, the Irish Guards, was killed on active service in Basra, Iraq, in October, 2003.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who went to Victoria Barracks in Windsor on Armed Forces Day, spoke to each of the 400 soldiers who received medals.

Prince William is the Irish Guards' first royal colonel and wore the regiment's uniform on his wedding day.

Six soldiers of the Irish Guards took part in ceremonial duties at the duke and duchess's wedding after returning from service in Afghanistan.

Humbled

Prince William spoke of his "pride and humility" at the soldiers' achievements and said he was "humbled" by the thought of their sacrifices. The duke also presented the families of three servicemen who were killed in action during the tour with the Elizabeth Cross in a private ceremony. Medals were also awarded to two soldiers who were severely injured in explosions.

"Along with thousands of others back home, I followed your tour in Afghanistan with a mounting sense of awe," Prince William told the soldiers in a speech.

The Irish Guards served in central Helmand as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade from September 2010 until last April.

The regiment was formed by Queen Victoria in 1900 during the Second Boer War.

mlavery@herald.ie

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