Friday 2 August 2019


The Provisional IRA murdered two British soldiers just outside Armagh.  The two 19-year-olds were part of a bomb disposal unit and were travelling in a convoy heading back to town having just inspected a burnt out vehicle.  The vehicle had been used as a getaway car following the murder of a policeman two days earlier.  That attack was carried out by the INLA, but it was the Provos who had laid an ambush for the military convoy.

There were three vehicles in the convoy, with the UDR travelling in front.  After the point vehicle had passed, a huge explosion caught the second vehicle, an armoured Transit van.  As the van disappeared into a 15-foot deep crater left by the bomb, at least three gunmen opened fire on the remaining troops.  The soldiers returned fire and the terrorists fled across fields and into a getaway car.  One of them was reported to have suffered a facial wound.  Two men were later arrested in the Republic, but released without charge.

The 400lb device had been placed in a culvert, a regular ambush tactic of the IRA and difficult to defend against.  The two soldiers were killed instantly.  Signalman Paul Reece was a member of the Royal Corps of Signals and came from Crewe.  Gunner Richard Furminger served with the Royal Artillery and came from Colchester.  The two teenagers had been posted to Northern Ireland just nine days earlier.

Signalman Reece and Gunner Furminger