Private Johnny Fletcher, the Ulster Defence Regiment
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1972, Private Johnny Fletcher, the Ulster Defence Regiment, was executed by the PIRA in Northern Ireland.
A part-time member of the regiment, he and his wife had a small farm on the Fermanagh-Leitrim border, and Private Fletcher also had a part-time job away from home. On the day of his death he was driving away from the farmhouse on his way to work when he was stopped by four gunmen. They told his wife they were taking him hostage, but took him into a field and shot him multiple times (reports vary from 14 to 34), killing him almost instantly. His body was left for his wife to find. There were four other Protestant families in the small community of Garrison in which Private Fletcher lived – one left just days after the murder, and three others followed later. It is believed that their leaving was the killers’ intention. Private Fletcher was described by a friend as “a courageous soldier and a generous, decent man.”
Johnny was 43 years old.