Army chief to attend naming ceremony

A SENIOR Army officer will attend the opening next week of a housing scheme named in honour of a West Yorkshire soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Maj Gen David Shaw, head of the Army in the North of England, will attend the opening ceremony of Kirkness Court in Morley, Leeds on Thursday February 10.

Maj Gen Shaw will represent the Ministry of Defence at the ceremony.

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The opening of Kirkness Court, off Corporation Street, will be performed by Maggie Kirkness, the mother of Morley soldier Lance Corporal David Kirkness, of 3rd Battalion, the Rifles, who was killed in a suicide bombing in Sangin in December 2009.

Mrs Kirkness will cut a ribbon and unveil a plaque commemorating the opening of Kirkness Court, a new social housing scheme and road named in memory of her son.

The suggestion to name the new development and access road in memory of L/Cpl Kirkness came from Morley South ward councillor Terry Grayshon, who approached the Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox about the idea.

Coun Grayshon said: “To the best of my knowledge it is the first time that any road and development has been named in memory of one of members of the armed forces who have fallen in Afghanistan.

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“It therefore seemed suitable that a representative from the Ministry of Defence attend the ceremony and I am very pleased that Maj Gen Shaw will be present.”

Kirkness Court, developed by housing association Housing Foundation, is a new social housing development for the over-55s. The development consists of 22 two-bedroom flats.

The Kirkness family home is a short walk from the site.

Representatives from the Royal British Legion and local army organisations will also be present together with members of 3 Rifles and the chief executive of Accent Foundation, Claire Stone.