Brothers in arms – duo in Afghanistan

Blackpool brothers Ash and Reece Royle are serving in Afghanistan with Weeton Barracks regiment 2Lancs.
Blackpool brothers Ash and Reece Royle are serving in Afghanistan with Weeton Barracks regiment 2Lancs.
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Two brave brothers serving side-by-side in war-torn Afghanistan have today told of their experiences of being together in the warzone.

Kingsman Reece Royle, 25, and younger brother Kingsman Ash Royle, 21, both from Blackpool, are currently on a tour of duty with 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (2LANCS).

The brothers, normally based out of Weeton Barracks, have told how they have been able support each other through the gruelling experience – adding to their worried family’s peace of mind.

Reece said: “It’s good having my brother out here, we can look after each other. It makes things easier.”

And he was able to impart a few words of wisdom to younger brother Ash, for what is his first tour, having been deployed to the country before.

Ash said: “From the stories Reece told me when he came back from Afghan last time, things seem to have changed massively.”

Reece added: “It is very different to the last time I was out here, it seems busier.”

The pair are working on Operation Herrick 18, working with the Afghanistan National Security Forces as UK troops prepare to drawdown and hand over to the Afghans.

Ash said: “The Afghans are doing all the patrolling, we’re just here to assist and advise them when necessary.”

Despite having long left the family home the brothers still stay in close quarters, stationed in the same camp, in Forward Operating Base Shawqat, and in tents just a few yards from one another.

Reece said: “If I miss family or home I can just go to the next tent and chat with my brother.”

And they are certainly making their family proud by serving together, though they admit it must make things more stressful for their mum.

Ash said: “The family have been through this before with Reece, but now we are both out here I think Mum finds it twice as hard. Dad is proud as punch though.”

The pair are due to return home from the tour of duty on October 30 this year.

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Minute silence to be held

Blackpool will fall silent this weekend to pay respect to Drummer Lee Rigby, the British soldier allegedly murdered in a suspected terrorism-related attack on May 22.

Residents are invited to join a gathering at the Cenotaph on Blackpool Promenade from 12.45pm tomorrow, with the minute silence at 1pm, to remember to the soldier and pay respect to all service men and women.

rganisers are also planning to follow the minute silence with a minute applause.

Organiser Stephen Russell said: “This is to show respect to soldiers, it’s a show of solidarity and community spirit.”

He added: “It will be a peaceful time, it’s not a demonstration or a march, it is a minute silence out of respect.”

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