Theresa May lays a wreath to an Ulsterman military leader in Washington

Prime Minister Theresa May lays a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC, USA, ahead of her meeting with President Donald Trump.She also laid a wreath at the grave of Sir John Dill, the Ulster-born general. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Prime Minister Theresa May lays a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC, USA, ahead of her meeting with President Donald Trump.She also laid a wreath at the grave of Sir John Dill, the Ulster-born general. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

On the morning of her meeting with President Donald Trump, Theresa May laid a wreath at the grave of an Ulster-born Field Marshall.

The prime minister paid her respects to Sir John Dill, who was born in Lurgan in 1881 and was sent to Washington in 1942 as Winston Churchill’s representative during World War II. Sir John had the rare honour, for a non American, of being buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Sir John Dill, Lurgan-born general (1881) who died in Washington DC in 1944 as a key UK-US military co-ordinator during the Second World War

Sir John Dill, Lurgan-born general (1881) who died in Washington DC in 1944 as a key UK-US military co-ordinator during the Second World War

The prime minister also laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at the Virginia cemetery, which holds the remains of unidentified US troops from the world wars, as well as the Korean conflict.

Dressed in sombre black, the prime minister was greeted by troops representing all military units based in Washington, led by Major General Bradley Becker. A cannon was fired 19 times as the prime minister’s convoy arrived at the cemetery and made its way to the memorial, on a hill looking down over ranks of gravestones and the Potomac River.

After a military band played the national anthems of the UK and US, the prime minister mounted the steps to lay a wreath of poppies, bowing her head as a single trumpeter sounded the Last Post.

More than 400,000 US troops killed in conflicts are laid to rest at Arlington. Also at the cemetery are a memorial to the victims of the Lockerbie terror attack and the grave of US president John F Kennedy.

• See Monday’s News Letter for an article on Sir John Dill by the historian Gordon Lucy