Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1984, Lance Corporal Thomas Alexander Loughlin, the Ulster Defence Regiment, was killed in Northern Ireland.
He was a part-time member of the regiment, which he had joined in 1970, shortly after its formation, and he had previously served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He also was employed by the Department of the Environment in the Water Service branch.
On the day of his death he left his home to drive to work in his DoE van. As his wife walked to the front door to wave him off, carrying their baby in her arms, the van exploded, a booby-trap bomb having been hidden beneath it. A neighbour, whose windows had been blown in by the blast, took the baby from Mrs. Loughlin, who comforted her still-conscious husband as they waited for the ambulance. Lance Corporal Loughlin was rushed to hospital, but died a few hours later from the extensive injuries he had sustained. His wife spoke of him as “a great provider for his family, his children always came first and he was also a very homely man, never wanting to be going places. He was happy just being at home.”
Thomas, from Spamount, Castlederg in County Tyrone, was 44 years old and married with five daughters, the youngest of whom was three months old at the time of his death.