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  • Christina Drummond

Private Victor Foster, 6th Battalion, the Ulster Defence Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1986, Private Victor Foster, 6th Battalion, the Ulster Defence Regiment, was killed in Northern Ireland.

Private Foster was a part-time member of the regiment and worked for his fiancee’s father, who was a building contractor. His father stated that he had joined the regiment because he felt obliged to do something to protect his community. He and his fiancee had known each other since they were children, had announced their engagement four months earlier, and plans were well underway for an August wedding.

On the day of his death Private Foster and his fiancee had just put down a deposit on a house, and they went out with both sets of parents for the evening. In the meantime, members of the IRA had planted a booby-trap bomb under his car. His father watched him drive away to take his fiancee home, then saw what he described as a sudden flash. He rushed to the car, discovered his son dead and his son’s fiancee badly injured. He later said about his son’s killers: “There are words I could use but they will not bring Victor back. These are the type of statements that the people responsible for Victor’s death would thrive on. They will pay in their own time and I will not sink to their level”. At Private Foster’s funeral at the Drumclamph Church in Crewe Bridge, the minister described his death as heartbreaking and spoke of the young couple: “They were so happy and excited about their future. My wife and I were excited as well because we have known them both from childhood. We cannot believe it; we’re both devastated. They were a fine couple.” Private Foster’s fiancée left Northern Ireland for several months afterwards, partly because she could no longer tolerate what was described as “highly offensive verbal abuse and taunts” from republican youths. Thirteen suspects were arrested, but none were ever brought before the courts.

Victor, from Castlederg, County Tyrone, was 18 years old.

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