Ballygawley - 20 years today.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by foggy_balla, Aug 20, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Was reminded by a colleague of mine that it was 20 years ago today. While practically everyday is an anniversary of some sort over here, I remember this specifically as it was the same day I was attested. I remember my 16 year old excitement being somewhat tempered at the news. Can't believe it was that long ago. A prayer in the foggy household tonight before bedtime for all those who remember it for reasons of their own.
  2. For those like me that couldn't recall this:

    20 August 1988 - Jayson Burfitt (19), Richard Greener (21), Mark Norsworthy (18), Stephen Wilkinson (18), Jason Winter (19), Blair Bishop (19), Alexander Lewis (18) and Peter Bullock (21), all members of the British Army, were killed in a Provisional Irish Republican Army land mine attack on their coach at Curr, near Ballygawley.

    Taken from Wiki, others correct as necessary.

    Glad I was shitfaced in Copenhagen that month. SF/IRA, hope their loved ones die slowly of a painful cancer.....
    • Like Like x 1
  3. From the book 'Lost Lives'

    Jayson Burfitt

    The Private from Bath, Avon was one of eight soldiers from the same regiment killed when an IRA bomb went off under their bus as it travelled along the Ballygawley to Omagh road. All but one of the soldiers died instantly, and all the dead were single and aged between 18 and 21. Another 19 soldiers were injured.
    The members of the Light Infantry had just completed about 18 months of a two year tour of duty and were returning to their base in Omagh after a short holiday. Their unmarked bus was coming from Belfast International Airport, having already picked up passengers at the Harbour airport in Belfast. A witness who arrived at the scene said.
    'There were bodies strewn all over the road and others were caught inside the bus and under it. There were people running around stunned, screaming and bleeding and shouting for someone to come to their aid. If they had been animals it would have been bad enough, but these were people'
    Ulster Unionist MP Ken Maginnis said he had found a young soldier, who had crawled several hundred yards through the mud, dying in a cow shed. He said 'Like any other young soldier he used his training to crawl under cover into hiding after the blast, but he lay there dying in front of us'

    I remember hearing about the lad who was found in the cow shed and it had a real affect on me at the time. It just seemed to make the whole thing even sadder.
  4. Does anyone know if the rememberance service at the scene went ahead today? In previous years there has always been a wreath laying at the scene on the anniversary and on 11 November. Sadly it is the only two days that the memorial to the LI, UDR and Cavalry soldiers killed on the Ballygawley/Omagh road is actually in place as it was vandalized on several occasions and has to be stored at a farm nearby.

    The main vermin behind this atrocity actually died very quickly 10 days later.
    • Like Like x 4
  5. Good enough.
    How quickly we forget.
  6. Is it wrong to hope that his relatives who servived him died slowly of cancer til the bloodline is lost?

    Hope his dimise was a 7.62mm dimise!
    • Like Like x 1
  7. I was there a few years back on 11 Nov carrying out security duties, and their was a huge turnout of people paying respects. And as with all of these tragic and sombre memorials, their were lumps in many a throat.
  8. so young too :(
  9. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    A coy had the under 18 platoon lads recently attached en masse if I recall correctly. My team Commander in COP was on the bus having been moved to A Coy for the skiing team training. One of the wounded was a mate from a previous tour and in the term above me at Shornecliffe.
    Even the Provo Cpl was wounded.
    The phone between the U18 accom block and ours was a regular spot for banter!
    I remember the lads saying how they were looking forward to being 18 and getting out with the rifle companies at last.
    Ali will be at Blair Bishops Grave tonight. I had left Bn that may and I was on my first TA weekend at Hythe Ranges.
    I'll raise a glass tonight to absent friends. Now the wife actually understands unlike then!
    • Like Like x 1
  10. 9mm related I believe.
    Sadly it appears that the memorial arrangements for the vermin are also planned
  11. 20 Years blimey. Where does the time go?

    I was in Londonderry at the time and I remember going on leave shortly after the tragic incident.

    After leave when we flew back to Aldergrove the RAF flew us all in a Chinook to Clooney Base as a measure to stop the usual bus transport being targetted.
  12. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Unfortunately around my waist line unlike those lads who never had the chance.
  13. Wasn't that was the incident where a 'UDR reservist' had some 'trouble' with his vehicle and the local ASU, eager to follow up the coach bombing rocked up, only to discover that the UDR chap had fire support to hand?

    IIRC, the local priest was quoted as saying that the three PIRA members had been hit by so many rounds that although he knew all three of them, he couldn't identify them such was the mess that was left.
  14. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

  15. I believe that is this incedent yes Archimedes, although I think the RUC man took the day off and was replaced with a suitable impersonator.
    I think the event was carefully planned by both sides, obviously the bad guys weren't aware that the good guys knew about it.
    Local word was that all the deceased were really nice fellas and pillars of the community types