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  • Christina Drummond

Lance Corporal Simon Ware, 2nd Battalion, the Coldstream Guards

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1991, Lance Corporal Simon Ware, 2nd Battalion, the Coldstream Guards, was killed in County Armagh on his second tour of Northern Ireland.

He had been part of a foot patrol from Bessbrook Mill which had headed out on the 15th, tasked with conducting house and property checks, random vehicle checkpoints, and to search for a montage of photographs of IRA suspects which had been lost ten days earlier. They had been searching the forest at Carrickrovaddy, between Newtownhamilton and Crossmaglen, and then headed towards the designated helicopter pick-up point to return to barracks. A 300lb bomb, believed to have been in a galvanized container, had been buried in the bank of a fire-break track in the forest and it detonated as Lance Corporal Ware reached it, killing him instantly.

The explosion was so large that the patrol’s commanding officer heard it as he sat in his office at Bessbrook Mill, which was fifteen miles away, and a patrol from the Reconnaissance Platoon felt their shelter rock six miles away. At first it was hoped that Lance Corporal Ware had been thrown clear, but sadly the Medical Officer, among the first on the scene, discovered that he had indeed been killed.

Lance Corporal Ware’s younger brother, Darren, was at the time serving in Northern Ireland with the Royal Green Jackets. He wrote a book about this devastating tragedy: ‘A Rendezvous with the Enemy, My Brother’s Life and Death with the Coldstream Guards in Northern Ireland’, available here – the Guards Magazine, in a review, stated that “…as a tribute it is truly ‘Second to None’”.

Lance Corporal Ware was buried from the Guards Chapel in Wellington Barracks in London, where only five months earlier he had been married.

Simon, from London, was 22 years old.

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