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  • Christina Drummond

Second Lieutenant Stewart Gardiner, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1972, Second Lieutenant Stewart Gardiner of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders was killed in Northern Ireland. He had been involved in a search operation at Drumuckaval, near Crossmaglen in Co. Armagh. Information had been given that there was a bomb on Moybane Road close to the border, but the investigation turned up a wire with nothing attached to one end, and the other end leading across the border, which meant the Gardai had to be called in. A discussion ensued between army personnel, the Gardai and RUC, during which gunmen opened fire from across the border. Second Lieutenant Stewart Gardiner was hit by machine gun fire, as was an RUC officer (who survived). First aid was applied by a soldier, who realized the injuries were grievous – he called in a report but was told the situation was too dangerous to send in any vehicles. He commandeered the first vehicle that came along and took Second Lieutenant Gardiner back to base, which was two miles away, but his injuries were too severe for him to survive. Stewart was 23 years old.

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