The Lord Lieutenant of County down


                                       An Officer’s letter before the battle of the Somme on July 1 1916 in which he was killed.
    I am writing this letter to you just before going into action tomorrow morning about dawn. I am about to take part in the biggest battle that has yet been fought in France,one which ought to help to end the war very quickly.
    I never felt more confident or cheerful in my life before. I would not miss the attack for anything on earth. The men are in splendid form, & every officer& man is more happy & cheerful than I have ever seen them. I have just been playing a rag game of football in which the umpire had a revolver & a whistle.
    My idea in writing this letter is in case I am one of the “Costs” & get killed. I do not expect to be, but such things have happened & are always possible. It is impossible to fear death out here when one is no longer an individual, but a member of a regiment & of an army. To be killed means nothing to me, & it is only you who suffer for it: you really pay the cost.
    I have been looking at the stars, & thinking what an immense distance they are away. What an insignificant thing the loss of say 40 years of life is compared with them. It seems scarcely worth talking about. Well goodbye you darlings. Try not to worry about it & remember that we shall meet again really quite soon. This letter is to be posted of.......
Lots of love. From your loving son.
                                                             “Qui procul hinc Ante diem periit Sed miles, Sed pro Patria”
Leslie Mackie DL at the Newcastle Service
/The Lord Lieutenant at the Ballynahinch Service
The Lieutenancy were represented at 12 ceremonies in 2017

 Brig Ian Osborne DL @ the Newcastle Parade with Deon McNeilly
 The parade in Newry attended by Prof James Nixon DL 
  Lord Dunleath DL @ the Ballywalter Ceremony
  Catherine Champion DL with the Mayor Robert Adair @  the Parade in Newtownards.
Peter Conway DL in Rathfriland
Gawn Rowan-Hamilton DL @ the Killyleagh Parade
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