Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1972, Trooper Geoffrey Knipe, Royal Dragoon Guards, was killed in Northern Ireland.
He had been driving a Ferret armoured car, near Drumarg Park in Armagh city, when his vehicle and another came under attack. Children and teenagers launched a heavy attack, throwing stones and bricks at the vehicles. Trooper Knipe’s windscreen was smashed by a brick, which hit him on the forehead and fractured his skull; his fellow soldier in the vehicle, who escaped with minor injuries, later reported that Trooper Knipe slumped over the wheel with his foot on the accelerator. It is believed that he had died instantly. The vehicle was later described as having “careened along the road for a distance and then turned over three times.”
An ambulance was called for, and members of the R.U.C. arrived, two of whom were injured by the children and teenagers who continued to throw stones. The ambulance was also stoned as it left the scene, as was a police car. A local priest was contacted, as were local families, and asked to remove the children. Blame was later levelled at the lack of parental control, and young people not being made aware of the consequences of their actions.
Geoffrey, from Bradford in Yorkshire, was 24 years old.