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  • Christina Drummond

Warrant Officer 2 John Arthur Maddocks, Royal Army Ordnance Corps

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1974, Warrant Officer 2 John Arthur Maddocks, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, was killed in Northern Ireland.

A ten-gallon milk churn bomb had been discovered at Gortmullen, Derrylin, in County Fermanagh, near the Monaghan border – it was in a ditch close to a woman’s home, and she noticed red and white wires leading from it into the ground. After reporting it to the RUC, her son and another man used a hook and line to move it into a field. Warrant Officer Maddocks arrived with his team to inspect and photograph the churn – he at first intended to use shotgun fire but instead decided to approach it. An eye-witness, an R.A.F. Police explosives search dog handler, said that as Warrant Officer Maddocks cut into the wires leading into the bomb it exploded, killing him instantly. He said: “John was a cracking guy, an absolute gentleman and a very brave one at that. I have never forgotten him…Rest in peace.”

John, from Stockport in Cheshire, was 32 years old and married with three daughters.

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