Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1987, Corporal James Oldman, 4th (County Fermanagh) Battalion, the Ulster Defence Regiment, was killed in Northern Ireland.
He had joined the regiment at its formation in 1970, having previously served as a “B” Special. He also had a job as shop manager in Jones’ Hardware Shop in Ederney, County Fermanagh. Corporal Oldman was a member of the Glassmullagh Orange Lodge, served in the vestry of the Colaghty Parish Church, and was a single man who lived with his widowed mother.
On the day of his death he arrived in his car to open up the shop. His twelve-year-old cousin was with him, as he was giving her a lift to meet her school bus. Three gunmen had taken over a nearby house during the night; they held the family hostage as they waited for over seven hours for Corporal Oldman to arrive. As he pulled up outside the shop, two of the gunmen told the girl to get out of the car, then shot Corporal Oldman. The gunmen escaped in the car belonging to the family they had taken hostage.
James, from a townland outside the village of Ederney, was 39 years old.