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  • Christina Drummond

Sergeant Alistair Slater MM, 22 Special Air Service, formerly 1 Para

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1984, Sergeant Alistair Slater MM, (B Squadron, Air Squadron, Air 7 Troop, 22 SAS, formerly a member of 1 Para) was killed while on operations against the PIRA in Kesh, Co. Fermanagh. This operation led to the deaths of two members of an IRA unit attempting to ambush and bomb an RUC vehicle. Two Q cars carrying SAS members formed a roadblock with a suspicious vehicle in their sights, but did not realize one of their vehicles had stopped right beside where an IRA unit was in hiding behind a hedge, preparing a roadside bomb. The gunmen opened fire on the SAS men as they began to approach the suspect vehicle, and Sgt. Slater was killed. The IRA men then made a run for it across the fields, one being shot and two others escaping across the border. The fourth, an escapee from The Maze a year earlier, drowned in the River Bannagh as he tried to cross it in his attempt to escape - his body was not found until three weeks later. Sgt. Slater was posthumously awarded the Military Medal for his role in the action. He had appeared in the 1982 British TV documentary The Paras as one of the instructors of a group of recruits undertaking basic training - the programme began filming just prior to the Falklands War. Alistair, from Leicestershire, was 28 years old.

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