Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1984, Gunner Timothy Peter Utteridge, 1st Battalion, Royal Horse Artillery, attached to 3 Royal Green Jackets, was killed in Northern Ireland.
He had been on foot patrol in Norglen Road, Turf Lodge, in West Belfast, when he was shot in the head by a sniper and died almost instantly. Another soldier was also shot, struck in the arm but his INIBA vest saved him from what could have been a fatal chest wound; a witness commented that Gunner Utteridge was wearing a beret, which gave him no protection. A priest arrived and said a prayer as Gunner Utteridge’s body was covered with a quilt. The IRA had taken over a house in Downfine Gardens and held a family prisoner as they waited at an upstairs window for the patrol, which they knew would be easy to hit, given the location.
Gunner Utteridge’s father had also served and was proud that his son had followed him into the army; he was known to be well-loved by those who knew him well, and was considered a very professional young soldier with a lot of potential. He had volunteered for the four-month tour in Northern Ireland as he stated that he wanted to gain operational experience.
Timothy, from Boston in Lincolnshire, was 19 years old.