Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1982, Lieutenant Leslie Hamilton, the Ulster Defence Regiment, was killed in Northern Ireland. He had been a part-time member of the regiment since its inception, and had been employed by a bakery for thirteen years.
Lieutenant Hamilton was on his regular run from the bakery when he was ambushed by two PIRA gunmen as he was unloading bread at the entrance to Long’s supermarket in the Waterside area of Londonderry. He was hit in the head and chest, and after he fell to the ground one of the gunmen shot him several more times. The ambulance arrived within minutes to take him to Altnagelvin Hospital, but he was already dead. Lieutenant Hamilton’s assistant escaped uninjured.
It was half-past eight on a Tuesday morning, with people going to work and children going to school. The gunmen arrived and made their escape in a stolen car which was later found abandoned at a nearby housing estate. They had taken over a house the night before, and left one of their men with the occupants as they stole the family’s car the following morning. A spokesperson for the Londonderry branch of the PIRA telephoned local newspapers to inform them of the murder.
Marlene Jefferson, a former Mayor of Londonderry, was one of the first people to arrive at the scene. Shocked and distressed, she said, “I’m heartbroken to see someone shot down in cold blood at his work. Is that what they call justice?”
Leslie, from Londonderry, was 37 years old and married with two sons, eight and thirteen years of age.