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  • Christina Drummond

Captain Robert Nairac of the Grenadier Guards

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1977, Captain Robert Nairac of the Grenadier Guards was murdered in Ireland. Engaged in undercover intelligence work, the previous evening he had visited the Three Steps pub at Drumintee in Co. Armagh, from which he was abducted. He was taken across the border to a field by the River Flurry in Co. Louth, where he was beaten, tortured and eventually shot in the early hours of the morning. He was awarded the George Cross posthumously, the citation for which reads, in part: “On his fourth tour Captain Nairac was a Liaison Officer at Headquarters 3 Infantry Brigade. His task was connected with surveillance operations. On the night of 14/15 May 1977 Captain Nairac was abducted from a village in South Armagh by at least seven men. Despite his fierce resistance he was overpowered and taken across the border into the nearby Republic of Ireland where he was subjected to a succession of exceptionally savage assaults in an attempt to extract information which would have put other lives and future operations at serious risk. These efforts to break Captain Nairac's will failed entirely. Weakened as he was in strength – though not in spirit – by the brutality, he yet made repeated and spirited attempts to escape, but on each occasion was eventually overpowered by the weight of the numbers against him. After several hours in the hands of his captors Captain Nairac was callously murdered by a gunman of the Provisional Irish Republican Army who had been summoned to the scene. His assassin subsequently said 'He never told us anything'. Captain Nairac's exceptional courage and acts of the greatest heroism in circumstances of extreme peril showed devotion to duty and personal courage second to none.” Much has been written, speculated and rumoured about Captain Nairac – for those seeking answers there is an exceptional book written by Alistair Kerr with care and compassion, three years in the making and impeccably researched:…/190…/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top… – Mr. Kerr is currently working on a second edition. Robert, born in Mauritius, but whose family home was in Gloucestershire, was 28 years old, and his remains have yet to be found.

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