Thursday 18 July 2019


The Provisional IRA murdered a British soldier and a civilian in west Belfast.  The terrorists targeted an army sentry post at Vere Foster School in the republican Springfield Road area.  A member of the King's Regiment was about to take up guard duty when he was hit in the neck by a sniper's bullet.  Kingsman James Joseph Jones, 18, was the 100th soldier to die during the Troubles.

Kingsman Jones came from Kirkby near Liverpool and had been in the army eight months.  A Catholic, he was buried with full military honours in his hometown.  His father, unable to come to terms with the loss, hanged himself three weeks after his son was shot dead.

Around an hour after the attack which killed Kingsman Jones, the body of a nightwatchman was discovered at the Finlay's factory on Ballygomartin Road.  50-year-old Thomas Mills, a local man, had received a gunshot wound to his right side.  The police concluded that Mr Mills was struck by a bullet during the earlier attack on the army post at the school.  Finlay's factory was close to the school and the shot had been fired from high ground in line with both murder scenes.

A republican memorial dedicated to local civilians killed during the Troubles can be found on the Springfield Road.  Thomas Mills's name is not on it.  He was a Protestant.