Wednesday 4 March 2020


The Provisional IRA murdered a British soldier in a booby-trap bomb attack in Crossmaglen, County Armagh.  Rifleman Nicholas Smith, of the Royal Green Jackets, had been attempting to remove an Irish tricolour that had been nailed to a telegraph pole.  He and a colleague had inspected the pole, but could not see anything suspicious.  However, as Rifleman Smith tried to remove the flag a bomb exploded beneath him, killing the young soldier and injuring his colleague.  IRA snipers opened fire immediately after the explosion and the patrol took up defensive positions, but no further casualties were inflicted and the terrorists withdrew.

Rifleman Smith was 20 and came from Battersea in south London.  He was serving in the 2nd Battalion Royal Green Jackets.

Rifleman Nicholas Smith

Crossmaglen was at the heart of what was dubbed 'bandit country', an area of south Armagh close to the Irish border that was an IRA stronghold.  The IRA's South Armagh Brigade were responsible for the deaths of 123 British soldiers during the Troubles.