• Christina Drummond

Private James Hesketh, The Queen's Own Highlanders


Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1973, Private James Hesketh of the Queen's Own Highlanders was killed at the junction of Grosvenor Road and Leeson Street in the Lower Falls, Belfast.

Private Hesketh was the rear man in an eight-man foot patrol, and was hit by a single bullet to the throat from an Armalite rifle fired from a nearby vacant house. He had been in the army for two years, and had only arrived in Northern Ireland a few days earlier. His comrades tried to save him but he died within minutes. The following year a 17-year-old girl was jailed for five years, having been arrested as she endeavoured to smuggle the rifle out of the area. In 1979 a twenty-year-old man was sentenced to five years in prison for the manslaughter of Private Hesketh and two other soldiers as well as the attempted murder of a Light Infantry padre; he had been fourteen at the time of the killing and had acted as look-out.

James, from Clydebank in Dunbartonshire, was 21 years old.

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