Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1986, Private Mitchell Robert Bertram (pictured) and Private Carl Davis, 2nd Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment, were killed in Northern Ireland. They were part of a patrol examining an abandoned vehicle with an attached trailer close to the army observation post at Glassdrummond near Crossmaglen, close to the border. The vehicle contained a massive bomb which was detonated by remote control, killing them and injuring two other soldiers and a civilian. The vehicle had been hijacked by gunmen and the driver forced out and hidden under a hedge with his head covered, from which location he could hear the explosion.
Private Bertram had dreamed of joining the army for years, and joined the Royal Anglian Regiment when he was seventeen years old. At the time of his death he was on his second tour of duty in Northern Ireland. He had been due to return home on leave, but at the last minute he was asked to stay and help with security near the border. There is a memorial bench in his name in his mother’s home village of Cramlington, near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne; his mother raised the funds for it with an online campaign, and the public response was more than she had imagined. Mitchell, from Tyne and Wear, was 23 years old.
Private Davis had joined the army in 1979. He was on his third tour of duty in Northern Ireland when he met his death. He had married a Northern Irish woman, and their second child was due to be born a week after he was killed. Carl, from Colchester in Essex, was 24 years old.