Hartshead Moor bombing of 1974

I have been asked to help track down some of the relatives of those killed in the Hartshead Moor bombing of 1974:

Hi, I wonder if you can help me. As some of you know, my brother Bombardier Terence Griffin (Royal Artillery) was killed on the M62 coach bomb blast in 1974, along with Signalman(men) and Fusilier(s). On the M62 Hartshead Moor Service Station there is a plaque which lists everybody's name who was killed in this incident. The Manager of the service station wants to hold a meeting with me regarding moving the plaque to another location within the service station. I really could do with talking to the other families who lost relatives in this incident and I was wondering if you could help me. I have managed to contact the Signals Regiment who have helped me but I could do with the Adjutants number at Catterick and cannot seem to find it. Also I need to contact the Fusilier(s) who were killed. I have spoken to the Veterans Agency and SAAFA but am getting no further. If you cannot help me, do you know who can?
Kind regards
Mo Norton

'All it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing.'
Edmund Burke
You can find out more about the bombing here from the BBC.

If anyone has any ideas on where I can direct Mo, pse respond or pm me. If we get no contacts, Mo will go to the meeting and keep me informed should we need to ensure that the memorial is not relegated to an unbecoming area.


(I will also post this on the Signals page, who also lost soldiers in the bombing; as well as the Militaria page.)
Quick update:

Mo has been to the Service Station and has had a promising meeting, with the Welcome Break agreeing to move the plaque and considering making a "Remebrance Garden", which they will kindly fund!

Mo has made contact with some of the families (Michael Waugh, Clifford Houghton, Mrs Haughton and Len Godden) who are very supportive, but wishes to try and engage with all of the families to ensure that they all support the move. She has made fresh contact with the British Legion and the War Memorials Trust and I will pursue the various Regimental Associations.

Should you wish to see Mo's excellent interview, which also gives some background, the links is here
We all thought that if (again with the permission of the families) the plaque is resited that there would need to be a re-dedication ceremony and that would taken place probably next February, near to the 4th (the anniversary) as possible with the British Legion and maybe the Northern Ireland Veterans Association and various regiments involved etc. ..
I will keep everyone informed of progress.

Hi Everybody I have managed to make contact with at least one relative from each family of those families who lost their lives in the M62 Coach Bomb and they have agreed to the re siting of the plaque onto the lawned area behind the flagpoles. I have asked Welcome Break if they can put a memorial garden around the plaque and plant snowdrops in memory of the two little children who lost their lives

I just want you know that the Royal British Legion are organising a re Dedication Ceremony on 4th February 2009 at 11 am on the WESTBOUND CARRIAGEWAY of the M62 and was wondering if any of you would like to attend the ceremony. We are hoping for the Bishop of Manchester and Wakefield to be in attendance. 'Life for Life' will also be planting an oak tree in memory of those who lost their lives. There will be a band, bugler and the Signals regiment, Fusiliers and Royal Artillery. We will have the Lord Leuitenants present of Yorkshire and Greater Manchester and we hope that 2 of the grandchildren of the families that lost the little children will lay some flowers so that the remembrance of the dedication will be passed down to them. Please let me know if you think you can make it. I would like to also contact anybody who survived this tragedy, please let me know if you know of anybody.
Thanks Mo
We've just received the email below:

Can you please let everybody know that the Re Dedication Ceremony is going ahead on 4.2.09 at 10.30am. The new and more fitting memorial will be behind the flagpoles on the lawned area outside the M62 Hartshead Services (WESTBOUND). There will also be an oak tree planted behind the memorial in celebration of the 12 lives that were lost. There will be snowdrops planted on the lawned area surrounding this in memory of the two little boys who
lost their lives. The British Legion in Manchester (Head Office) is coordinating the memorial. I have managed to contact over 100 family members who will be attending and also some survivors and emergency service personnel who will be attending. There will be a 35 piece brass band, piper, drummers, bugler and also Chelsea Pensioners.

Kind regards
Mo Norton
Sister of Bombardier Terence Griffin
Tree No.151 at the National Memorial Arboretum
Life for a Life Memorial Forests http://www.lifeforalife.org.uk
Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace http://www.foundation4peace.org
Royal British Legion http://www.britishlegion.org.uk
Armed Forces Memorial http://www.forcesmemorial.org.uk


Searching for survivors of the 1974 M62 Coach bomb

On Wednesday 4th February 2009, a ceremony will be held at Hartshead Moor Services to re-dedicate a plaque to commemorate those who lost their lives in the M62 Coach bomb.

The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace is joining the bereaved families of the men, women and children who lost their lives in that tragic event, in trying to find the survivors of the coach bomb, and those from the Emergency Services who attended the incident. The Foundation is also trying to locate any of the many people who stopped on the motorway to give their help on that fateful night, in order to pass details of the ceremony on to them.

Mo Norton, who lost her brother Terence Griffin in the bomb, is one of the participants in the Foundation’s ‘Survivors for Peace’ Programme. 5 years ago, on the 30th Anniversary of the bomb, Mrs Norton was devastated when she saw that a commemoration service had been held at the service station in West Yorkshire, and that she and the rest of her family had not been told about the event. Mrs Norton, who now lives in Wigan, has recently championed the re-siting of the original 1974 plaque, to a more appropriate spot at the services, where it will be easier for the families and friends to pay their respects.

Mrs Norton said; “I would like to make sure that everyone affected by the bomb is able to attend the event next month. It has taken us a long time to trace the families, and I have only recently been given the names of those who survived the bomb. I wouldn’t want anyone else find out about the event after it has happened, as it was a shock when that happened to us 5 years ago.

“I know that it might not be an easy day for those who survived, but we would really appreciate any help to find those who were there on the night, whether they were on the coach or who helped in any way. We are not only commemorating the event, but celebrating the lives of those who died by the planting of an English oak tree, so that we can remember them. We hope that it will be a fitting tribute”

The Foundation would like help to find the 45 former service personnel and civilians who joined the coach that was travelling from Manchester to Catterick Garrison on night of the 3rd/4th February 1974, and anyone else who attended or helped in the aftermath of the explosion. People are asked to contact Jo Dover at the Foundation on 01925 581231 if they have information on the whereabouts of the survivors.
Drop_Short said:
If anyone has any ideas on where I can direct Mo, pse respond or pm me. If we get no contacts, Mo will go to the meeting and keep me informed should we need to ensure that the memorial is not relegated to an unbecoming area.
I attended the very moving service of dedication today and would like to publically thank all those involved in the ceremony, but especially Mo Morton who was the driving force behind the new memorial, whose brother Terrence was one of the victims of the bombing. Despite the cold weather and couple of inches of snow on the ground the turnout was fantastic - the clip below does not really do it justice! From the numerous standards to the huge array of head-dress worn by the veterans, it was a very fitting tribute to those who so tragically lost their lives on that day 35 years ago.

I would also like to eat some humble pie! Far from Welcome Break moving the memorial to an unbecoming area, the memorial now sits in pride of place in front of the entrance to the service station. In addition, they laid on refreshments after the ceremony for all of the by now frozen crowd of 500! In today’s fraught financial times, it was a mighty fine gesture.

I am sure that Mo may herself post something on this site to properly thank those involved, but I should also mention the other official sponsors: “Life for Life” Memorial Forests whose oak will now provide a living tribute to their loss; Marshalls for the landscaping; the Royal British Legion; and the Oldham Liaison of Ex-Services Associations.

BBC Clip

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