Battalion in 
shock after soldier killed in crash

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A Barnsley soldier killed alongside his colleague in a road crash in Northern Ireland was a much- liked man with a fantastic future ahead of him, military colleagues have said.

Rifleman Dale Harris from Barnsley and Lance Corporal David Gwilt from Bedford, died when their car hit a tractor in Co Antrim on Friday night.

The 24-year-olds had been serving in the 2nd Battalion The Rifles based in Lisburn.

A statement issued on behalf of the commanding officer, officers and soldiers of the battalion paid tribute to their two colleagues.

“The tragic deaths of Lance Corporal David Gwilt and Rifleman Dale Harris have come as a tremendous shock to the 2nd Battalion The Rifles,” it said.

“David and Dale were much liked, professional and hugely competent soldiers who had fantastic futures ahead of them. The whole battalion is deeply saddened by their loss and our heartfelt condolences go to their families and friends at this most difficult time.”

The crash happened on the Ballyconnelly Road, Cullybackey.

Another man in the car, aged 21, sustained head injuries that are not thought to be life-threatening.

The driver of the John Deere tractor was treated at the scene for injuries that are not believed to be serious.

The Rifles are based at Thiepval Barracks in Lisburn. The battalion currently has one company of around 100 soldiers serving in Afghanistan.