Royal Signals 

Welcome to Palace Barracks Memorial Garden, these memorials stones are dedicated to some of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the Armed Forces.

The Garden in Palace Barracks remembers some of  those who have lost their lives in Northern Ireland, The Falkland Islands and the United Kingdom,   the Memorial Custodian is also responsible for the Memorial Garden at Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn, Co. Antrim.

[ Royal Signals Memorial Nation Arboretum  ]

Northern Ireland

Falklands Islands

Felix Memorial Garden

The Gardens

The Gardens

The Gardens

Members of the Royal Corps of Signals killed as a result of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, from 1971.

Royal Corps Signals

Signalman Paul Genge,  7th November  1971: Aged 18, shot by IRA gunmen while taking an off-duty walk in Lurgan, Armagh. A second soldier was hit in the thigh but survived. The pair were unarmed and in civilian clothes when they were approached by gunmen.

Corporal John Aikman,  6th November 1973: Aged 25, Royal Corps of Signals, 25, killed by IRA gunmen while on security duty outside the court house in Newtownhamilton, Armagh. He was hit twice in the chest as he walked across the town square.

Signalman Michael Eugene Waugh,  4th February 1974: Aged 22, Royal Corps of Signals, killed in the M62 bomb, when the IRA detonated a large device in a coach used by the army to provide a regular weekend shuttle service for troops across the Pennines. Nine soldiers died along with one of the victims' wife and two children. 

Signalman Leslie David Walsh,  4th February 1974: Aged 17, Royal Corps of Signals, killed in the same incident.

Signalman Paul Anthony Reid,  4th February 1974: Aged 17, Royal Corps of Signals, killed in the same incident.

Signalman Paul J Reece,  2nd August 1979: Aged 19, Royal Corps of 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.

Signalman Brian Richard Cross  4th July 1981 Aged 26 Single. Killed in a Road Traffic Accident in Rock Road Lisburn, County Antrim. He was off duty at the time of his death.

Corporal Michael Ward,  1st April 1982: Aged 29, Royal Corps of Signals, shot and killed in an ambush by the IRA in Londonderry's Bogside. He and another soldier had just left the Rosemount RUC station where they had been carrying out work on army radio equipment.

"The Two Corporals were pulled from their car and executed by the IRA" Belfast March 19th 1988 - Executed in Cold Blood There can be no difference from soldiers executed in IRAQ to soldiers executed in Northern Ireland by the IRA. All terrorists must be treated the same. Murder is murder no matter where or who carries it out. All terrorists from Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and the IRA must be treated accordingly with the same force and brought to justice to do otherwise is morally wrong and a terrible reflection on a democratic country who sends its soldiers to defeat terrorists Worldwide but fails to clean up the mess in its own back yard.

Corporal Derek Wood  Royal Corps of Signals - 24 years old.

Corporal David Howes  Royal Corps of Signals - 23 years old.

The episode is remembered by many as one of the most shocking fatal incidents of the troubles, largely because of the graphic television coverage which showed dozens of men attacking their car. After being taken from their car and beaten, the corporals were driven to waste ground and shot. The incident, which became known as 'the corporals' killings', was seen as both extraordinarily brutal. The sequence of events was watched by an army surveillance helicopter on film which was later produced in evidence at a series of trials related to the incident. The film included harrowing footage of the actual deaths of the soldiers as they were shot by I.R.A. gunmen. The soldiers were pulled from the car as they where blocked from getting out of the area by black taxis. They where pulled out though the windows by republicans, beaten and stripped naked on waste ground before being executed. Although the army version of events was that the soldiers were technicians who were engaged in routine communications and radio work at bases in West Belfast, local suspicions persist that they were instead involved in some form of undercover surveillance activity. Neither explanation, however, is seen as clearing up the mystery of how they came to drive into an I.R.A. funeral attended by many hundreds of republican sympathisers. The incident had its origins in the shootings of three I.R.A. members, by the S.A.S. in Gibraltar. Their funerals in Milltown Cemetery were disrupted by an attack mounted by U.D.A. gunman Michael Stone, who killed three people including I.R.A. member Caoimhin MacBradaigh.

The MacBradaigh funeral was making its way along the Andersonstown Road towards Milltown cemetery when the silver Volkswagen Passat car containing the two corporals appeared. The car headed straight towards the front of the funeral, which was headed by a number of black taxis. It drove past a Sinn Fein steward who signalled it to turn. The car then mounted a pavement, scattering mourners and turning into a small side road. On finding that this road was blocked, it then reversed at speed, ending up within the funeral cortege. When the driver attempted to extricate the car from the cortege his exit route was blocked by a black taxi. At this point most of the mourners and the accompanying republican stewards assumed the car contained loyalist gunmen intent on staging another Michael Stone style attack. Dozens of them rushed forward, kicking the car and attempting to open its doors.

The soldiers inside the car were both armed with Browning automatic pistols and Corporal Wood climbed part of the way out of a window, firing a shot in the air which briefly scattered the crowd. The television pictures showed the crowd surging back, however, some of them attacking the vehicle with a wheel-brace and a stepladder snatched from a photographer. The corporals were eventually pulled from the car and punched and kicked to the ground. They were then dragged into the nearby Casement Park sports ground where they were again beaten, stripped to their underpants and socks and searched. According to republicans, an identification card which read 'Herford', a location in Germany, was mistaken for 'Hereford', the headquarters of the S.A.S... It appears this was important in sealing the fate of the soldiers. With the I.R.A. by now involved the corporals were further beaten and thrown over a high wall to be put into a waiting black taxi. It was driven off at speed, camera crews capturing its driver waving his fist in the air.

The corporals were driven less than 200 yards to waste ground near Penny Lane, just off the main Andersonstown Road. There they were shot several times. Corporal Wood was shot six times, twice in the head and four times in the chest. He was also stabbed four times in the back of the neck and had multiple injuries to other parts of his body.  Redemptorist priest Father Alec Reid, who was later to play a significant part in the peace process leading to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, arrived on the scene. One of the most enduring pictures of the troubles shows him kneeling beside the almost naked bodies of the soldiers, his face distraught as he administered the last rites. The events of March 19, 1988, lasted only 15 minutes but, because of the nature of the deaths and because much of the sequence was televised within hours, they are regarded among the most shocking in Northern Ireland's recent history.

Later in the day the I.R.A. issued a statement. It said 'The Belfast Brigade, IRA, claims responsibility for the execution in Andersonstown this afternoon of two SAS members, who launched an attack on the funeral cortege of our comrade volunteer Kevin Brady [Caoimhin MacBradaigh].  The SAS unit was initially apprehended by the people lining the route of the cortege in the belief that armed loyalists were attacking them, and they were removed from the immediate vicinity of the funeral procession by them. At this point our volunteers forcibly removed the two men from the crowd and, after clearly ascertaining their identities from equipment and documentation, we executed them.' The bodies of the dead soldiers were flown to RAF Northolt by Hercules transport plane. Their families watched as the coffins, draped in Union flags, were carried from the aeroplane by colleagues, with the band of the Corps of Signals playing in the background. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was at the airfield. The soldiers' deaths prompted one RUC officer, Constable Clive Graham, to consider emigrating but he was killed by the IRA just days later. In November 1998,two Belfast men sentenced for their involvement in the killing of the two soldiers were released from the Maze prison as part of the early prisoner release scheme in the Good Friday Agreement  "Lest we forget"

Lance Corporal Graham P Lambie,  15th June 1988: Aged 22, Royal Corps of Signals, 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.

Sergeant Michael James Winkler,  15th June 1988: Aged 31, Royal Corps of Signals, killed in the same incident.

Signalman Mark Clavey,  15th June 1988: Aged 24, Royal Corps of Signals, killed in the same incident.

Corporal William J Paterson,  15th June 1988: Aged 22, Royal Corps of Signals, killed in the same incident.

Staff Sergeant Kevin A Froggett,  16th September 1989: Aged 35, Royal Corps of Signals, shot and killed by the IRA as he repaired a radio mast at Coalisland RUC station.

Sergeant Michael Newman,  14th April 1992: Aged 34, Royal Corps of Signals, shot in the head outside an army careers office in Derby as he walked, in plain clothes, to his car. The INLA were believed to be responsible for the killing. The office had been the target of an IRA bomb attack 19 months earlier. 

An Irish Republican has been jailed for life after pleading guilty to the murder of a soldier 12 years ago - but is expected to be freed within months.  Joseph Magee, 38, of Armagh, Northern Ireland, admitted killing Sgt Michael Newman but is eligible for release under the Good Friday Agreement. Sergeant Newman, 33, was shot in the head at point-blank range in 1992 near an Army recruitment office in Derby.  The judge said Magee had committed "a cold-blooded act of terrorism". The Army recruitment officer was leaving work when he was gunned down as he walked to his car. Magee, a member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), was "waging a war" when he shot Sgt Newman, the court heard. He was finally arrested at a funeral wake in Northern Ireland earlier this year and handed over to Derbyshire Police. The suspect decided to plead guilty knowing he would be eligible for release under the Good Friday Agreement, the court heard. Sentencing Magee, Mr Justice Goldring gave a recommendation he serve at least 25 years.  But prosecution council Patrick Upward QC told the court Magee would serve his sentence in Northern Ireland and would be freed under the Agreement. "He will be released fairly shortly, I would imagine," Mr Upward said. High Court judge Mr Justice Goldring replied: "Whatever I do, that is the likely outcome." The judge said Magee had come over to England intending to carry out a plan to kill someone at the recruiting office. He said: "The victim was a 33-year-old man performing his public duty. He was shot through the head in the middle of the afternoon in a public place.  'Cold-blooded act' "The purpose of what you did was to try and advance a political cause. "What you did was a terrible offence. It was a cold-blooded act of terrorism in which an innocent man lost his life." Sgt Newman, who had never served in Ireland, had just lowered the flag outside the recruitment office and changed into civilian clothes when he was shot. Magee and two alleged accomplices, Declan Duffy and Anthony Gorman, had been watching the movements of soldiers at the recruitment station for several days beforehand, the court heard. He was arrested in the Irish Republic in 1993 but was controversially freed by the High Court in Dublin the following year after appealing against his extradition to England.  Magee based that appeal on claims his case had received unfair publicity in Britain and the offence had a political motive. Duffy and Gorman, who have both served jail terms in the Irish Republic, have never been tried for their alleged involvement. Detective Chief Superintendent Dave Gee of Derbyshire Police CID welcomed Magee's guilty plea but criticised the Good Friday Agreement. He said: "It is nearly the end of a chapter of the family's lives that they want to bring to a close.  "We are looking to find ways through European legislation to bring him to justice. "I can't be drawn into the politics of the Good Friday Agreement but this was a cold-blooded murder committed by men who hide behind the shield of politics to carry out their evil crimes. "My personal view is that life should mean life, or at least the minimum tariff set by the trial judge. "The smile Magee gave when he was first taken down makes your gut wrench, quite frankly." A Home Office spokesperson said: "It would be for the independent commissioners to determine whether or not a prisoner would qualify for accelerated release under the terms of the Belfast Agreement."

[ Harold John Beckett ]

Harold John Beckett, Husband & Father who was murdered 30th June 1990 while serving with "Royal Ulster Constabulary" Harold also served with the Royal Signals, he was aged 47.