Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1988, Corporal Derek Hayes and his dog Ben, the Royal Pioneer Corps, were killed in an explosion in Northern Ireland.
Corporal Hayes had joined the Royal Pioneer Corps eleven years previously, and had been part of the dog unit for ten years. He had just completed a two-year tour of duty in Northern Ireland and had asked for a one-year extension.
On the day of his death he was leading a combined army and police foot patrol on Castleblayney Road at Crossmaglen, County Armagh, approximately two hundred yards from the border. Either he or Ben stepped on a pressure plate which detonated a bomb and they were both killed. Other members of the patrol escaped unhurt.
Derek, from Lincolnshire, was 28 years old and married with one child.