• Christina Drummond

Sgt. John Wallace, 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, and WO2 Ian Donald, 48th Field Squadron, Royal


Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1973, Sgt. John Wallace, 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, and WO2 Ian Donald, 48th Field Squadron, Royal Engineers, were killed in Northern Ireland. A booby-trap bomb exploded in a house that they were trying to gain access to in order to search it at Cullaville near Crossmaglen in Co. Armagh. The house was a few hundred yards from the border, and the bomb was believed to have been detonated by someone across the border. A woman living across the road was told by a masked gunman who came to her door that there was a bomb in the house and that she was to call the police and also tell her neighbour, a man serving with the Royal Irish Rangers, that he was not to go home. A police sergeant checked the house and informed Sgt. Wallace that he did not find any wires; WO2 Donald, who was attached to the bomb disposal unit, arrived with engineers and bomb disposal experts. Soldiers took position around the house, and the policeman had moved back to the roadway when he heard the explosion that demolished the house and killed WO2 Donald immediately; Sgt. Wallace was mortally wounded, and a third soldier was injured but survived. The IRA claimed responsibility but no-one was every prosecuted for what the coroner described as “cowardly and brutal murder.” John (photo on the left), from Frome in Somerset, was 31 years old and married with a child. Ian (sadly no photo available), from Ripon in Yorkshire, was 35 years old and married with two children.

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