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  • Christina Drummond

Lance Corporal William Gordon, the Ulster Defence Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1978, Lance Corporal William Gordon, the Ulster Defence Regiment, was killed in Northern Ireland, when a booby-trap bomb exploded beneath his car.

He was a part-time member of the regiment who worked as a School Welfare Officer, and was known to be a dedicated family man who enjoyed fishing in his spare time.

On the day of his death Lance Corporal Gordon set out to take two of his children to school. A neighbour saw him check under the car and in the boot, as he always did. Then he reversed the car and was starting to move forward when there was what the neighbour described as “an unmerciful bang”. She ran to the scene of the explosion and saw that Lance Corporal Gordon’s seven-year-old son had been blown onto the path and that he was alive but seriously injured (he subsequently lost an eye); but his father and eleven-year-old sister were obviously dead. Francis Hughes, leader of the South Derry Brigade and the second of the 1981 hunger strikers to die, was on the run at the time and believed to have been responsible.

William, from Maghera in County Londonderry, was 41 years old and married with three children.

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