Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1977, Private Robert John Bloomer, 8th Battalion, the Ulster Defence Regiment, died from wounds received eight days earlier.
Private Bloomer had joined the regiment as a part-time member in November of 1971, and also was employed as a factory worker. On the 16th of September in 1977, he drove his car into the laneway of his home and was ambushed by two IRA gunmen with Armalite rifles. He was hit five times but was able to return fire and his attackers fled. Private Bloomer’s wife ran out of her house and drove her husband to his father’s home, which was situated close by. His father collapsed with a heart attack but survived; Private Bloomer was taken to hospital but could not be saved. An R.U.C. spokesman praised Mrs. Bloomer for her courage. The following year Private Bloomer’s U.D.R. colleagues presented a memorial tablet to the Brantry Parish Church.
Robert, from Dungannon in County Tyrone, was 29 years old and married with two children.