Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1971, Private Robert Malcolm Benner, 2nd Battalion, Queen’s Regiment, was killed in Northern Ireland.
He had a twenty-four-hour pass to visit his fiancee in Dundalk, but never arrived – his body was found by a farmer near Crossmaglen in County Armagh, about a hundred yards from the border. Private Benner is believed to have been shot by the Official IRA, with a gun which was alleged to have been used in the murder of two other men. His fiancee had tried to talk him out of crossing the border to see her, offering instead to meet him in Northern Ireland, but he refused, feeling safe and familiar with the area. He was due to leave Northern Ireland the following week to return to England.
Robert, born in Dundalk but living in Leicestershire, was 25 years old.