A moving Commemorative Service took place at Market Place, Lisburn on Friday June 15 to remember 30 years since six young soldiers lost their lives in a terrorist bomb.
In the presence of family relatives Mr and Mrs Paterson, the parents of Lance Corporal William J Paterson, and his sister, Miss Julie Paterson; the sister and brother-in-law of Lance Corporal Derek W. Green, Mr Gary Woolnough and Mrs Helen Woolnough; the youngest daughter and son-in-law of Corporal Ian Metcalfe Mrs Sarah Carter and Mr John Carter; Lord Lieutenant Mrs Joan Christie CVO OBE; the Right Worshipful the Mayor, Councillor Uel Mackin; Lieutenant Colonel Rob Lyndsay, 38 Brigade; High Sheriff, Ms Gillian Bingham; the Right Honourable Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP; Elected Members of Council; the British Legion, the Green Howard’s Association and members of the public, respects were paid to the six soldiers.
As a new Council the Memorial Plaque, in memory of the soldiers, was rededicated to the six victims at the Service which was conducted by the Rev. Stephen Hanna. A number of wreaths were also laid in memory of the soldiers - Sergeant Michael J. Winkler, Royal Signals; Corporal Ian Metcalfe, Green Howards; Lance Corporal Derek W. Green, RAOC; Lance Corporal Graham P. Lambie, Royal Signals; Lance Corporal William J Paterson, Royal Signals; Signalman Mark R. Clavey, Royal Signals.
The six young soldiers had completed the annual charity run sporting event and were returning to their base when a terrorist bomb destroyed the vehicle in which they were travelling.
The Mayor, Councillor Uel Mackin, said: “This terrible loss of life saw the darkest of times in Lisburn’s close-knit community. Today our prayers and thoughts are with family members who have experienced the most dreadful grief and loss. Indeed we are honoured to have family members and the Green Howard’s Association with us as we unite in one voice.
“That terrorist bombing touched the lives of so many people in this Council area. Back then Lisburn was a busy market town; today it has grown to be one of Northern Ireland’s five cities. But the memories of the deaths of those six young soldiers who had their whole lives ahead of them has always stayed in the minds of so many people, including colleagues with us here today who will remember where they were when that dreadful news came.
“Eleven people who were in the town that night were injured and the thousands of attendees that evening in Lisburn were made up of families, children and young people: so local feelings and memories run deep. This is a garrison city and many citizens in the surrounding communities have links with the military. This Council pays its highest tributes to the work of the Armed Forces and to the men and women who serve their country.
“Deep memories of those young men who were so cruelly killed will stay with their families forever and of course they will never be forgotten by the Council or the people of Lisburn. I would like to express my deepest thanks to everyone who attended our Service and our special thoughts are of course with the family members of the soldiers.”