Fusiliers James Duncan, Peter McDonald and Michael Sampson, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1975, Fusiliers James Duncan, Peter McDonald and Michael Sampson, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, were killed in the Drummuckavall ambush in Northern Ireland.
It was an attack by the South Armagh Brigade of the Provisional IRA on a four-man British Army observation post southeast of Crossmaglen, County Armagh. The concealed observation post was about seventy-five yards from the border with the Irish Republic, and the soldiers had been in the hide for almost thirty-six hours - it came under fire from two directions and the fourth member survived, although seriously wounded. Shortly afterwards, Merlyn Rees, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, issued his famous statement dubbing South Armagh "bandit country." The following year, the British Government declared that it was deploying the SAS in Northern Ireland, although they had already been there unofficially for a number of years.
James, from Oldham, was 19 years old. Michael, from Douglas on the Isle of Man, was 20 years old. Peter, from Manchester, was 19 years old.