321 EOD Felix Memorial Garden. N.I.



In Memory of all Officers and Soldiers Who have lost their lives  whilst serving with 321 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company Royal Army Ordnance Corps


THE FELIX MEMORIAL GARDEN, THIEPVAL BARRACKS, LISBURN, Co. ANTRIM ROLL OF HONOUR FOR NORTHERN IRELAND 1971-1988


321 EOD Company Royal Army Ordnance Corps who have lost  their lives whilst carrying out Bomb Disposal Operations in  Northern Ireland

Felix was originally adopted by the British Royal Army 321 EOD Coy RAOC in 1969 when they were first deployed to Northern Ireland. Their radio call sign was "Felix."


CAPTAIN  D A STEWARDSON

9 SEP 1971

[ CAPTAIN  DAVID A STEWARDSON ]

Age 29, RAOC, killed attempting to defuse an IRA bomb  outside Castlerobin Orange hall in Antrim.

A package found near the hall exploded when he tried to cut into it. He was the first bomb-disposal officer to die in the troubles.

WO2 C J L DAVIES

24 NOV 1971

[ WO2 COLIN. J. L. DAVIES ]

Age 39, RAOC, a bomb disposal specialist killed by a device  planted by the IRA in a car showroom in Lurgan.

He approached the device, heard it ticking and made his way  to leave the building when it exploded. He was killed by falling masonry.

 PTE THOMAS FRANCIS McCANN

14 Feb 1972

Aged 19, RAOC, he was born in Dublin and disappeared on the way there to visit his mother. His hooded and gagged body was found at Newtownbutler on the Fermanagh border. He had been transferred on compassionate grounds to Ulster to see his mother regularly.

S/SGT C R CRACKNELL

15 MAR 1972

[ S/SGT. C. RICHARD. CRACKNELL ]

Aged 29, RAOC, killed along with one other member of a bomb-disposal team  by an IRA booby-trap device left in a car off the Grosvenor Road. The 20 lb device had been left on the back seat of the car which was spotted by a foot patrol.

A controlled explosion was used to open the boot of the car but it did not trigger the main device which only exploded as the team approached the vehicle for a closer inspection.

S/SGT A S BUTCHER

15 MAR 1972

[ S/SGT ANTHONY BUTCHER ]

Aged 24, RAOC, killed in the same incident.

MAJOR  B C CALLADENE

29 MAR 1972

[ MAJOR  B C CALLADENE ]

Aged 39, RAOC, fatally injured when a car-bomb exploded in Willington Street, a tiny side street opposite Belfast City Hall. The bomb was of a new type and, as one of the most senior bomb disposal officers in  the Province, he had expressed the desire to be summoned if any such devices were found. He was approaching the Austin 1800 for his first inspection when it exploded. He had already defused a 150lb lorry bomb earlier that day. He was the most senior officer of the army's bomb squad to be killed in Northern Ireland.

CAPTAIN J H YOUNG

15 JUL 1972

Aged 22, RAOC, killed while attempting to defuse an IRA bomb.  The device, contained in a milk churn, had been left at Silverbridge, near Forkhill.  Captain Young was the first bomb-disposal officer killed in South Armagh. 

WO2 WJ CLARK

3 AUG 1972

Aged 34, RAOC, killed as he examined an IRA device left  on the main Sion Mills to Clady Road. The explosives were packed into a 10-gallon drum.  Warrant Officer Clark first used a small charge to blow  the top off the drum, he them went back to examine it  when the device exploded.

SGT R E HILLS

5 DEC 1972

Aged 28, RAOC, killed during a follow-up operation after an army post at Kitchen Hill in the town came under IRA mortar bomb attack. Sergeant Hills was brought to the scene to make a mortar safe.

CAPTAIN  B S GRITTEN

21 JUN 1973

Aged 29, RAOC, killed while inspecting a large collection of explosives found in a Nissen hut near Lecky Road in Londonderry. As he carried out the inspection part of the collection exploded killing him and injuring three other soldiers. 

Capt Gritten taken in1962 while he was at Sandhurst as an Officer Cadet

Capt Gritten - Taken in1962 while he was at Sandhurst as an Officer Cadet

SSGT R F BECKETT

30 AUG 1973

Aged 37, RAOC, died as he dragged a 20 lb bomb from a post office in the border village of Tullyhommon. The bomb had been left by two carloads of IRA men.

CAPTAIN  RONALD  WILKINSON

23 SEPT 1973

Aged 30, RAOC, died in hospital six days after an IRA device exploded as he inspected it. The bomb had been planted outside an office block at Edgbaston in Birmingham

SECOND LIEUTENANT  LINDSAY WILLIAM  HAMILTON DOBBIE

3 OCT 1973

Aged 23, RAOC, killed when he opened a small parcel containing an IRA bomb. It had been delivered by hand to Bligh Lane's army post in Londonderry and the death prompted an immediate security review.

SSGT A .N. BRAMMAH 

18 FEB 1974

 

Aged 31, RAOC, killed by an IRA device as he examined a parcel bomb concealed in a roadside verge at Moybane near Crossmaglen. He was checking for devices left in the area following a series of bomb explosions the previous day.

SSGT V I ROSE

7 NOV 1974

Aged 30, RAOC, killed by an IRA landmine left near an  electricity substation just outside Stewartstown, Tyrone.  He along with other soldiers had gone along to the substation following an explosion there the previous night.

WO2 J A MADDOCKS

2 DEC 1974

Aged 32, RAOC killed instantly when an IRA milk churn bomb exploded while he was examining it at Gortmullen, Derrylin,  near the Monaghan border.

WO2 E GARSIDE

17 JUL 1975

[ WO2 E GARSIDE ]

Aged 34, RAOC, was one of four soldiers killed by an IRA bomb south of Ford's Cross, Armagh. They were investigating suspicious milk churns but these turned out to be decoys. They were killed by a 70lb bomb in a beer keg hidden in a  gap in the hedge as they soldiers passed through.

CPL C W BROWN   

17 JUL 1975

   Aged 25, RAOC, killed in the same incident.

SGT M E WALSH

9 JAN 1977

Sgt Walsh

Aged 28, RAOC, killed when an IRA bomb he was attempting to dismantle exploded near Newtownbutler.  The device was concealed inside a milk churn.

SIG P J REECE 

2 AUG 1979

 

Sig Reece

Aged 19, Royal Signals, killed when an IRA landmine exploded near the border in Armagh  under their vehicle which was part of a convoy travelling along the Armagh to Moy road.

GNR R .A .J. FURMINGER

2 AUG 1979

 

 

 

 

Aged 19, Royal Artillery, killed when an IRA landmineexploded near the border in Armagh under their vehiclewhich was part of a convoy travelling along the Armagh to Moy Road.


Richards Dad was in the RA, as a family of five kids they travelled with their Mum & Dad to many parts of the globe but Rich's favourite place was Gibraltar, Rich then joined the Essex Army Cadets (which he enjoyed) leading their band as Drum Major before joining the regulars. He joined boy service at Bramcote, before mustering to mans service, where he was posted to 45 Fd Regt RA being recommended for his first stripe on his return from Ireland. Unfortunately this never happened, he just didn't make it back. It is something you never get over, the death of one so young. That's why the Memorial Garden is so important to me, because each time someone visits, looks at the headstones they are remembering those poor souls who never made it back. His Loving Sister Kaye and Family


WO2 M O'NEIL  

31 MAY 1981

Aged 35, RAOC, killed when an IRA bomb exploded in a car he  was examining near Newry. The device went off as he approached the car for the eighth  time to prepare it for towing away. He was the 17th bomb disposal expert to be killed in Northern Ireland since the start of the trouble.

L/CORPORAL DEREK  W  GREEN

15 JUN 1988

Aged 20, RAOC, one of six soldiers killed by an IRA bomb as they prepared to return to barracks after a charity fun run in Lisburn, Antrim. The soldiers were using a civilian minibus which was booby trapped by the IRA with a large semtex device. The explosive had been moulded into a cone shape to maximised the killing power.

WO2 J R HOWARD

8 JUL 1988

[ WO2 J R HOWARD ]

Aged 29, RAOC, killed when he stepped on a pressure plate connected to an IRA booby trap bomb on the Falls Road. He was part of a unit carrying out a follow  up examination of the area after an earlier bomb went off killing two people. He was the first member of the bomb squad to killed since 1981

The Unit was re-designated 321 EOD Squadron  The Royal Logistic Corps  on 5th April 1993.

321 (EOD) SQN RLC The task of bomb disposal in Northern Ireland is undertaken by 321 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Squadron, Royal Logistics Corps (RLC). This unit is the only agency in Northern Ireland permitted to investigate and render safe suspected improvised explosive devices (IEDs). During the "Troubles" the Army's bomb disposal experts have dealt with some 50,000 emergency calls - an average of about 40 a week - of which almost 5,500 were to deal with actual terrorist devices. The Squadron was formed in 1971 from a disparate collection of bomb disposal assets already in Northern Ireland and marked its 25th anniversary in 1996. During these years the Squadron - never more than about 100 strong - have lost 20 killed and 24 seriously injured. Their hazardous work has saved countless lives and prevented damage to property on a vast scale. Although no cost can be put on human life, to give some perspective, it is worth noting that in a three month period in 1991 terrorist attacks caused damage valued at more than 1.5 million to homes and other property in Northern Ireland. As well as making safe some 5,500 devices during the past 25 years, Ammunition Technical Officers (ATOs) have recovered well over 200 tonnes of explosives, much of it in an unstable condition. They have faced devices ranging from small cassette-sized incendiaries to huge lorry bombs containing more than 2,000 lbs of explosives. BRAVERY AWARDS 321 (EOD) Sqn, RLC is the most decorated unit in the British Army for actions undertaken in peace time. In recognition of their bravery and dedication soldiers from the Squadron have received gallantry awards which include 2 x George Crosses and 29 George Medals. The most recent George Cross - the highest award for gallantry off the battlefield - was won in 1990 by Warrant Officer Barry Johnson for his action in safe-guarding civilian lives while making safe a large IRA multiple mortar which had been left loaded and armed in a residential area close to a hospital in Londonderry. He was seriously injured when the sixth bomb exploded as he was attempting to defuse it. Terrorist bombing tactics have continually developed and the research and technical back-up for 321 Squadron has had to keep pace. Today's Wheelbarrow, introduced in 1995, is a tremendous advance on the Mk1 prototype first seen on the streets of Northern Ireland in 1972. It is also a far cry from the wire clippers and Stanley knife that ATOs had to rely on in the late 60s and early 70s. Sadly it was in those early days that the unit suffered most of its fatalities with 14 killed. FELIX.  Over the years the cry "Send for Felix" has been heard whenever a suspect device has been spotted. But why Felix? The usual radio callsign from the Corps was "Rickshaw", but this was deemed inappropriate for the bomb disposal teams and gradually the name Felix, after the Hollywood cartoon character, came to be adopted - not only because cats have nine lives but also because of his ability on the silver screen to survive all sorts of mayhem. 

Falkland Islands

Northern Ireland