Saturday, 26 October 2019

ON THIS DAY IN 1976, CORBYN'S MATES...

The Provisional IRA shot dead a part-time British Army officer at his civilian place of work.  Lieutenant Joseph Wilson had worked at the same Protestant supermarket in Armagh town for 20 years and had survived a previous attempt to kill him there.  On the day of the murder a young man entered the store and joined the queue for Lt Wilson's meat counter.  He asked the UDR man for some salami, but as the lieutenant turned around he shot him three times in the back.  Lt Wilson collapsed and was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.  The gunman fled the scene and escaped in a Hillman Avenger that had been hijacked earlier.

13 months prior to his murder, Lt Wilson had got into his car after finishing a shift when a gunman approached and fired a revolver into his windscreen.  He escaped that day, but a newspaper report following his death described him as a 'marked man'.  Earlier in the Troubles he testified in court against several Official IRA members, who were subsequently jailed for a theft from his home.

Lieutenant Joseph Wilson of 2 UDR

Lt Wilson was 53 and served in 2nd Battalion the Ulster Defence Regiment, based in Armagh.  He came from Lisdown, just outside the town, and was survived by his wife and nine children.  He was buried with full military honours at Knappagh Presbyterian Church.  The following year his UDR company unveiled a plaque inside the church in his memory.  In 1984 Lt Wilson's son-in-law was murdered by the IRA in a bomb attack.