Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1990, Kingsman Stephen Beacham, Kingsman Paul Worrall, Kingsman Vincent Scott, Lance Corporal Stephen Burrows, and Kingsman David Sweeney, 1st Battalion, the King’s Regiment, were killed in Northern Ireland. Also killed was civilian Patrick Gillespie, who was 42 years old and married with three children.
Mr. Gillespie was a cook at the Fort George army base in Londonderry. Gunmen took over his home close to midnight on the 23rd of October and held his family captive. He was forced to drive a van containing a bomb, estimated to be 1,000 lbs, to the Coshquin vehicle checkpoint on the border with County Donegal. He assured his family that everything would be all right, as he had survived four years earlier when forced to drive another bomb to an army base. The family’s car was used by the gunmen to follow Mr. Gillespie in the early hours of the morning.
When Mr. Gillespie pulled into the checkpoint, the bomb was detonated, killing Mr. Gillespie along with the five soldiers from the King’s Regiment. Ten gunmen, in two separate groups, approached the checkpoint and opened fire. Several soldiers were injured, and there was devastating bomb damage to buildings and nearby homes, with many civilians suffering minor injuries and shock.
Kingsman Beacham, from Warrington in Cheshire, was 20 years old and left behind two children.
Kingsman Worrall, from Runcorn in Cheshire, was 23 years old.
Kingsman Scott, from Walton, Liverpool, was 21 years old and due to leave the army the following month.
Lance Corporal Burrows, from Blackpool, was 30 years old and married with a three-year-old son.
Kingsman Sweeney, from Widnes in Cheshire, was 19 years old and engaged to be married.