Thread: Club 27
View Single Post
Old 19-03-2015, 07:33 PM   #431
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Inactive
Posts: 36,483
Likes: 237 (190 Posts)
Lightbulb Off the Wall

The Warrenpoint ambush or Narrow Water ambush (also called the Warrenpoint massacre or Narrow Water massacre) was a guerrilla attack by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA)'s South Armagh Brigade on 27 August 1979.. The IRA ambushed the British Army with two large roadside bombs at Narrow Water Castle (near Warrenpoint) in Northern Ireland.. The castle is on the banks of the Newry River, which marks the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland...

As it passed, a 500-pound (227 kg) fertiliser bomb, hidden in a lorry loaded with strawbales and parked near the castle, was detonated by remote control..

A British Army lorry destroyed in the ambush..

On hearing the first explosion a Royal Marine unit alerted the British Army and reinforcements from other units of the Parachute Regiment were dispatched to the scene by road..A rapid reaction unit, consisting of medical staff and senior commander Lieutenant-Colonel David Blair (the commanding officer of the Queen's Own Highlanders), together with his signaller Lance Corporal Victor MacLeod, were sent by Gazelle helicopter; another helicopter, a Wessex, landed to pick up the wounded.. Colonel Blair assumed command once at the site...

At 17:12, thirty-two minutes after the first explosion, a second bomb hidden in milk pails exploded against the gate lodge on the opposite side of the road, destroying it and sending lumps of granite flying through the air..

The second explosion, caused by an 800-pound (363 kg) fertiliser bomb, killed twelve soldiers: 10 from the Parachute Regiment and the two from the Queen's Own Highlanders.. Mike Jackson, then a major in the Parachute Regiment, was at the scene soon after the second explosion and later described seeing body parts scattered over the road, in the water and hanging from the trees.. He was asked to identify the face of his friend, Major Peter Fursman, still recognisable after it had been completely ripped from his head by the explosion and recovered from the water by divers from the Royal Engineers.. Only one of Colonel Blair's epaulettes remained to identify him as his body had been vaporised in the blast..The epaulette was taken from the scene by Brigadier David Thorne to a security briefing with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to "illustrate the human factor" of the attack...

Tim Pat Coogan asserts that ultimately, the death of these 18 soldiers hastened the move to Ulsterisation..Lieutenant-Colonel Blair is remembered on a memorial at Radley School...

IRA member Brendan Burns was killed in 1988 when a bomb he was transporting exploded prematurely... found your Private Reich up there... or what was left of him.. You didn't finish!. Well, I can't blame you: he was tough.. But then, a good soldier ought to be...
lightgiver is offline   Reply With Quote