Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1983, Major Charles Armstrong, the Ulster Defence Regiment, was killed in Northern Ireland.
Major Armstrong was a part-time member of the regiment. He was the manager of the Armagh Gas Company and sat on several committees, as well as being the Ulster Unionist chairman of Armagh District Council and treasurer of the County Armagh Orange Lodge.
On the day of his death he had been at a council meeting; when he returned to his car to drive home, it exploded, killing him instantly. Colleagues were able to pull his body clear of the car before it went up in flames. It was after his death that Gerry Adams made the statement that killing members of the Ulster Defence Regiment was “perfectly legitimate in a state of war”.
Armagh City came to a virtual standstill for his funeral with many businesses closing out of respect. The funeral service was held in St. Mark’s Parish Church, where later a stained glass window was dedicated in his honour.
Charles, from Armagh City, was 54 years old and married with eight children.