Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1983, Sergeant Tommy Palmer, Special Air Service Regiment, late Royal Engineers, was killed in a road accident in Northern Ireland.
Born in Falkirk and brought up in Edinburgh, Sergeant Palmer lived in care from the age of eight until he was sixteen. After leaving school he worked as a coalman until he joined the Royal Engineers in 1970, and three years later he applied to join the SAS, being one of the youngest to apply.
Sergeant Palmer served during the Dhofar war in Oman, and in Northern Ireland before and after his part in the Iranian Embassy siege in May of 1980. He received the Queen’s Gallantry Medal from Her Majesty The Queen in a private ceremony in Buckingham Palace in June of the following year. He also served with B Squadron during the Falklands War.
On the day of his death Sergeant Palmer and another SAS soldier, on a covert operation, were travelling near Lurgan in Northern Ireland when their car overturned and struck an embankment. One of his colleagues called him “a proud man and as tough as they come”.
Tommy, from Falkirk, was 31 years old.