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News > From the Archives > From the Archivist > Leaders Launch: Rory Copinger-Symes

Leaders Launch: Rory Copinger-Symes

Courage, resilience & nerve are as necessary as they ever were, but lately the ability to form bonds with local communities, to gain trust and help rebuild shattered lives has also become a necessity.

Rory Copinger-Symes

In recent times warfare has become less conventional but no less bloody.  Today our armed forces are frequently called upon to offer aid and humanitarian relief in conflict torn corners of the world such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Old Pangbournian Lieutenant Rory Copinger-Symes would undertake just such a role when in 1991 he was sent to northern Iraq to assist the local Kurdish population.  His job was to secure the provincial capital of Al Amadiya to allow the Kurds to return safely.  One of his first tasks after securing the town was to establish a food distribution and rationing system.  When word began to circulate that the town was now safe and that help was available the Kurds slowly started to trickle in.

This wouldn’t be Copinger-Symes last visit to Iraq and in 2006 with the capital Baghdad once again in chaos he found himself back in the country and made a point of flying to the area he had helped to secure in 1991.  He was extremely pleased to see that the town was still safe and prospering.

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