• Christina Drummond

Captain Barry Gritten, 321 EOD Unit, Royal Army Ordnance Corps


Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1973, Captain Barry Gritten, 321 EOD Unit, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, was killed in an IRA bomb explosion on Lecky Road, Londonderry.

As a bomb-disposal officer, he had been inspecting a large collection of home-made explosives which had been found in a derelict Nissen hut when part of it blew up, killing him and injuring three other soldiers, one of whom lost an eye. In December of the following year, a man was convicted of possession of the explosives.

Barry, from Darlington in County Durham, was 29 years old and married with a two-year-old daughter and two sons aged one and four.

This poem dedicated to his memory was posted on www.nivets.org.uk by a forum member called Slapper:

What Price Now? For everything we do or say in life, a price is paid. From being children we are taught to face the challenge being made. We learn the values that we hope to carry on through life. That comradeship will see us through and help in times of strife. And as young men, we chose a path, the military road. Surrounded by the friends who helped to share the heavy load. That load we shared was greater when we came by Erin's shore, And many of us truly paid the price, and live no more. Now as the years go ticking by, and we can look behind, We look for errors in the past, the truth we hope to find. Could we have changed the things that were, and helped the friends now lost? Or was it written in the star's that they would pay the cost? Their lives were given freely so that others could walk free, They did the job that was layed down, the same as you and me. Their names shall liveth evermore, for that's what we are told. They shall be forever young, they shall not grow old. Unlike the soldiers of the past, their deeds will be unknown. Never said at sermon time, never written in Boys Own. The politics that took their lives have changed, as time has passed. The gunmen are the good guy's now, our sacrifice is trashed. Now we are told we cannot march, to remember our lost friends. The powers that be forget the sacrifice for their own ends. But we will never let them down, their sacrifice wont fail. For march we will, we wont forget, their memories will prevail.

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