1984

1984 Robert Greg Elliott New.jpg
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1984 (0203) LCpl Thomas Loughlin 6 UDR.J
1984 (0803) Pte David Montgomery 11 UDR.
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1984 (0805) Pte James Johnston 8 UDR.JPG
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1984 (0406) Pte Davy Chambers 11 UDR.JPG
1984 (1407) Pte Norman McKinley 6 UDR.JP
1984 (1407) Cpl Heather Kerrigan 6 UDR.j
1984 (0709) Pte Robert Bennett 8 UDR.jpg
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Pte Robert Elliott, 6 UDR, 2nd January 1984.

Ambushed by the IRA at his home in Lislaird Road, Castlederg, as he got into his van. The shooting by two gunmen was witnessed by his 69 year old widowed mother. Two months after his death Lance Corporal Loughlin was killed by a booby trap bomb. Greg Elliott had been a guest at his wedding. The bridesmaid Cpl Heather Kerrigan and the best man Pte Noman McKinley, also soldiers in 6 UDR were killed later that year by terrorist action. He was 25 years old, off duty and single at the time of his death.

Pte Linden Houston, UDR TC, 20th January 1984.

Shot dead by INLA gunmen who called at the door of his home in Sunnymeade Avenue, Dunmurry. He was shot at close range, struggled back into his living room and died a few minutes later in his wife's arms. He was 30 years old, off duty and married at the time of his death.

LCpl Thomas Loughlin, 6 UDR, 2nd March 1984.

Fatally injured by an IRA booby trap planted under his Department of the Environment van. The device exploded not far from his home in Castlederg as his wife and his baby daughter waved goodbye. He died three hours later in hospital. Pte Norman McKinley, best man at his wedding, bridesmaid Cpl Heather Kerrigan and guest Pte Greg Elliott were killed by terrorists in the same year. He was 44 years old, off duty and married at the time of his death.

Pte David Montgomery, 11 UDR, 8th March 1984.

Shot dead by two IRA gunmen as he served a customer at the filling station on the Airport Road, Moira. The gunmen forced customers to lie on the floor and shot Pte Montgomery twice in the head with a 9mm pistol. At his funeral the local Church of Ireland minister stated that there were so many restrictions surrounding the use of weapons by the security forces that David preferred to face the gunmen rather than draw his personal protection weapon and have to explain later. He was 23 years old, off duty and single at the time of his death.

Pte Ronald Funston, 4 UDR, 13th March 1984.

Ronald had left the Regiment in 1978. He was the 38th UDR Veteran to be killed. He was shot by the IRA as he worked on the family farm in Lowery, near Pettigoe. Gunmen merged from undergrowth and fired eighteen shots as he sat in the cab of his tractor. His mother discovered his body. He was 28 years old and single at the time of his death.

Pte James Johnston, 8 UDR, 8th May 1984.

Shot dead by the IRA, said to be disguised as ambulance men, as he arrived for work at Drumglass Hospital. The gunmen held a Cookstown woman captive overnight as they prepared to use her car in the attack. Jimmy's sister in law's brother, David Martin a former UDR soldier, was killed by an IRA booby trap bomb in 1993. He was 28 years old, off duty and single at the time of his death.

CSgt Ivan Hillen, 6 UDR, 12th May 1984.

Shot dead by the IRA on his border farm at Lismore, near Augher, as he walked to the piggery 200 yds from his home. As he opened the door of the feeding unit he was shot at close range by two gunmen. He was found by his wife and had been shot eight times. He was 45 years old, off duty and married at the time of his death.

Pte Hugh Gallagher, 6 UDR, 3rd June 1984.

Left the Regiment in 1984. He was the 39th UDR Veteran to be killed. He was shot by the IRA. His body was found with several bullet wounds inside his taxi which had crashed into a gatepost at Faccary Road, Loughmacrory, near Omagh. Hugh had received a number of death threats and resigned from the Regiment in April. Hugh's nephew Aiden Gallagher was killed in the Omagh bombing in 1998. He was 27 years old and married at the time of his death.

Pte David Chambers, 11 UDR, 4th June 1984.

Shot by the IRA as he arrived for work at the Boxmore Eggs Container factory, Dollinstown, near Lurgan. He was knocked off his motorcycle with a shotgun blast and after the crash one gunman ran forward and fired four more times as David lay on the ground. A 200 lb bomb designed to kill security forces taking part in the follow-up operation exploded in a nearby derelict house injuring two policemen and a UDR soldier. He was 34 years old, off duty and married at the time of his death.

Pte Norman McKinney, 6 UDR, 14th July 1984.

One of two soldiers killed in a 200 lb IRA landmine explosion at Second Corgary, outside Castlederg. The device was detonated from across the border and the patrol came under fire from there after the explosion. Norman died instantly, his colleague Cpl Heather Kerrigan died before she reached hospital and Heather's brother was seriously injured. In the aftermath of the killings the West Tyrone brigade of the IRA said members of the security forces should leave and contact the IRA. A statement said, 'provided we are satisfied that such a person has not committed grievous war crimes against our people, and is not engaged in a ruse, we shall remove that person's name from our target list'. Pte McKinley and Cpl Kerrigan had been best man and bridesmaid at the wedding of her brother in law Tom Loughlin a few months earlier, 02 Mar 84. A guest at the wedding, Greg Elliott was also killed earlier in the year, 02 Jan 84. He was 32 years old, on duty and single at the time of his death.

Cpl Heather Kerrigan, 6 UDR, 14th July 1984.

The fourth Greenfinch to be killed. Part Time carrying out Full Time duties. One of two soldiers killed in a 200 lb IRA landmine explosion at Second Corgary, outside Castlederg. The device was detonated from across the border and the patrol came under fire from there after the explosion. In the aftermath of the killings the West Tyrone brigade of the IRA said members of the security forces should leave and contact the IRA. A statement said, 'provided we are satisfied that such a person has not committed grievous war crimes against our people, and is not engaged in a ruse, we shall remove that p erson's name from our target list'. Heather died as she was being taken to hospital by helicopter. Heather's colleague Pte McKinley died instantly and Heather's brother was seriously injured. Fourteen past pupils of Castlederg High School were killed in terrorist attacks, 12 of them 6 UDR soldiers. She was 20 years old, on duty and single at the time of her death,

Pte Robert Bennett, 8 UDR, 7th September 1984.

Shot by the IRA at the timber yard where he worked on the Ballygawley Road, Dungannon. He had just returned to work after lunch with a colleague when up to six gunmen opened fire. Robert was waving goodbye to his wife and three year old daughter and they witnessed the shooting. His colleague Malcolm Cullen died immediately. Robert died a short time later in hospital. MP Ken Maginnis said that 'because of Robert's concern for his family he hadn't time to draw his own UDR issue weapon'. The owner of the timber yard Eric Shiells, a Part Time Captain in 8 UDR was shot dead by the IRA in 1977. He was 45 years old, off duty and married at the time of his death.

Pte Melvin Simpson, 2 UDR, 8th October 1984.

Melvin left the Regiment in 1981. He was the 40th UDR Veteran to be killed. He was shot by the IRA as he operated a digger on a building site in Ann Street, Dungannon. Gunmen fired twelve shots from a rifle and a shotgun. Melvin died in hospital five hours after the attack. He had only started work on the site that morning; the ambush was set up at very short notice. In 1985 the Loughgall home of his widow and children was attacked during the night, with windows in the house being damaged and a car smashed. Left the Regiment in 1981. He was 40 years old and married at the time of his death.

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