Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1974, Captain Anthony Pollen, the Coldstream Guards, was killed while on a covert operation in Londonderry.
Educated at Eton and trained at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, he came from a wealthy Catholic family, some of whose members held titles – on their property was a chapel, the use of which they gave over to the local priest and his congregation. Captain Pollen had served in Aden and Germany as well as Northern Ireland.
On the day of his death, Captain Pollen was accompanied by another soldier, a corporal. Both were dressed in plain clothes, observing an Easter parade and taking photographs of the marchers. The corporal was approached by a man who asked him to identify himself, and it was at that point that both he and Captain Pollen began to be surrounded by a large crowd. In their attempt to get away, the corporal lost sight of the captain.
Captain Pollen’s body was found off Meenan Square in Londonderry, where he had been shot in the head. The IRA later claimed that he had been a member of the SAS, but an army spokesperson denied the claim. He is buried in the Reading Caversham Cemetery in Berkshire.
From Sonning in Berkshire, Anthony was 27 years old