Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1974, Private Michael Swannick and Lance Corporal Alan Coughlan, 1st Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment (Berkshire and Wiltshire), were killed in Northern Ireland.
The IRA had left a 300-lb bomb in a delivery van at the perimeter of the Ballykinler army camp in County Down, without warning. When it exploded it killed Private Swannick and Lance Corporal Coughlan as well as injuring thirty others, mainly soldiers, two of whom sustained serious injuries.
This report is from the Belfast Telegraph: “Immediately after the blast the canteen burst into flames, and injured people staggered from the debris with blood streaming down their faces. Windows in Ballykinler Primary School, about a hundred yards away, were shattered and glass showered into the classrooms.” A Belfast man was charged with the murders of Private Swannick and Lance Corporal Coughlan, but was acquitted.
Michael, from Birkenhead, was 20 years old; Alan, from Newport, Gwent, was 22 years old.