Lance Corporal Andrew Webster, 1st King’s Regiment
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1979, Lance Corporal Andrew Webster, 1st King’s Regiment, was killed in Northern Ireland. He and another soldier had gone to the top floor of a block of flats in Ardmonagh Gardens in the Turf Lodge area of Belfast. Their purpose was to provide cover for foot patrols in the area; the three-storey block of flats had been used in this way before. A bomb was detonated as Lance Corporal Webster, slightly ahead of his comrade, turned on the stairs to reach the top. He was killed instantly, the blast being so severe that he would have known nothing about it; his comrade was injured and survived. The building was known as the Disco Block, as it was a creche and playgroup and dances were regularly put on for the children – at the time of the murder the lower floor was full of young children and there was a dance in progress to raise funds for Save The Children. A witnessing soldier said that he saw black smoke coming out of a large hole in the roof – there was much confusion but fortunately no-one else was injured, and the children were taken to nearby houses to be looked after. Lance Corporal’s mother said that he would never have joined the army had he been able to find a job at home. He had arrived in Northern Ireland in February of that year, and was due to go home on leave the following week. Andrew, from Merseyside, was 20 years old.