1978

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Sgt Jock Eaglesham 8 UDR 7 Feb 78.jpg
Cpl William Gordon 5 UDR, 8 Feb 1978.jpg
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WhatsApp Image 2021-03-13 at 12.47.45.jp
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Sgt Robert Batchelor 10 UDR 27 Nov 78.JP

Cpl Austin Grills, 3 UDR, 12 January 1978.
The 83rd UDR Soldier killed. Shot by the IRA as he drove home from his civilian work. He had survived two previous attacks. The IRA said they shot him because of his service with the British war machine. He was 56 years old, off duty and married.

 

Sgt John Eaglesham, 8 UDR, 7 February 1978.
The 84th UDR Soldier killed. Shot by the IRA on his normal morning post run near Cookstown. He managed to draw his pistol but died of chest wounds before he could return fire. He had served in World War II, in the Army Reserve and in the Territorial Army. He was posthumously Mentioned in Despatches. His son served Part Time with the Regiment. He was 58 years old, off duty and married at the time of his death.

 

Cpl William Gordon, 5 UDR, 8 February 1978.
The 85th UDR Soldier killed. Killed instantly together with his ten-year-old daughter when an IRA booby trap bomb exploded under his car. His seven-year-old son was badly injured. At the inquest a neighbour described how he saw him check under his car before he and the children got into it. On the day of his funeral shops in towns across Northern Ireland closed as a mark of respect. He was 39 years old, off duty and married at the time of his death.

 

Cpl William McKee, 6 UDR, 14 April 1978.
The 86th UDR Soldier killed. Ambushed and shot by two women and a man while driving a school bus near Omagh. Although wounded he managed to control the bus and accelerate away but his IRA attackers followed him in a hijacked car and caught up with him at a crossroads three miles away. He was shot again. He dragged himself onto the road before he collapsed and died from his injuries. He was 61 years old, off duty and a widower at the time of his death.

 

Pte Alan Ferguson, 4 UDR, 25 June 1978.
The 87th UDR Soldier killed. Killed in an IRA attack on a two vehicle mobile patrol which was first attacked with a landmine explosion and then raked with M60 gunfire. The firing came from across the border. He was one of eight members of the security forces killed in M60 attacks. His girlfriend who joined the Regiment after Alans death survived an IRA gun attack two years later. He was 23 years old, on duty and single at the time of his death.

 

Pte Michael Riley, 10 UDR, 19 August 1978.
The 88th UDR Soldier killed. Michael left the Regiment in 1978. He was the 11th UDR Veteran to be killed. He died from gunshot wounds received on the 07 Jun 78 when gunmen burst into his home in Demark Street, Shankill Road and fired at him as he sat watching television. No organisation claimed responsibility. Michael was a former Prison Officer. He was 31 years old and married at the time of his death.

 

Pte Thomas Johnston, 2 UDR, 19 August 1978.
The 89th UDR Soldier killed. Thomas had left the Regiment in 1974. He was the 12th UDR Veteran to be killed. He was shot by IRA gunmen outside a confectionery shop. He was hit in the head by gunfire from two Armalite rifles and died almost immediately. His girlfriend was injured in the arm and chest. The IRA claimed that he was still connected to the UDR. Gilberts older brother was seriously wounded in an earlier gun attack at his farm and Gilbert who was present helped his brother across fields to safety. He was 25 years old and single at the time of his death.

 

Cpl Brian Russell, 6 UDR, 28 September 1978.
Brian had eft the Regiment in 1975. He was the 13th UDR Veteran to be killed. He was shot by an IRA sniper as he and a colleague who were civilian workers were working with a Military Police patrol in Waterloo Place. He was hit in the head by a single shot and died two hours later. The killing was claimed by the Irish Freedom Fighters dissatisfied by the IRAs soft approach. Their statement said that Brian’s death had been a mistake and that the target was soldiers with him. Brian’s second child was born shortly after his death. He was 30 years old, married at the time of his
death.

 

Capt Charles Henning, 2 UDR, 6 October 1978.
The 90th UDR Soldier and 10th Officer killed. Shot by the IRA as he was leaving a livestock market on 02 Oct 78. He saw the gunmen as they approached his lorry and tried to escape back into the market. The gunmen ran after him and shot him in the head, shoulder and thigh. It is believed that the intention was to kidnap him and obtain information before killing him. He died in Daisy Hill Hospital on 06 Oct 78. He was 50 years old, off duty and married at the time of his death.

 

Sgt Robert (Roy) L. Batchelor, 10 UDR, 27th November 1978. 
The 91st UDR Soldier killed. Shot by the IRA as he got into his car in Belfast, after finishing work. He was hit 8 times in the head. He had previous Army and Territorial Army service. He was 36 years old, off duty and married with 1 child at the time of his death.