Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1974, Private Philip Victor Drake, Royal Pioneer Corps, was killed in Northern Ireland.
Private Drake had enlisted in the army at the age of seventeen. He was popular and excelled in training, passing out in May of 1971 – he told his mother that he enjoyed it so much he would go through it all again. In July of 1973 he was sent to join the RPC Defence and Deployment Platoon attached to 3 Infantry Brigade in Northern Ireland.
On the day of his death he was in Craigavon, travelling in a Land Rover, when fifteen shots were fired at the vehicle. The soldiers returned fire, but the gunmen escaped unhurt. Private Drake was found to have been hit on the side of the head; he was taken to hospital but pronounced dead on arrival. Guns and ammunition related to the killing were found in a subsequent search. A man was later jailed for life for his murder.
Philip, from Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, was 18 years old.