Royal Highland Fusiliers


Thirty years on and *not* forgotten

Three members of the Royal Highland Fusiliers aged 17, 18, and 21 were lured to their deaths on March 9th 1971, An editorial in the Belfast Telegraph commented, "After all the horrors of recent weeks and months, Ulster people have almost lost the capacity for feeling shock. But the barbaric and ruthless murder of three defenseless young soldiers has cut to the quick. As there funerals took place in their hometown, Belfast city centre was brought to a standstill as tens of thousands poured into the grounds of the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall.

Thanks to: - John Girdler (ex Queens) for the above info

[ White Brae in Ligoniel  ]

This is the new memorial (Photo left & above) which has been erected in Ballysillan on the outskirts of Belfast and dedicated to the three young Royal Highland Fusiliers who were lured to their deaths by young women and murdered in Northern Ireland in 1971 at Ligoneil on the outskirts of Belfast. Their murders resulted in all soldiers under the age of 18 being taken off the streets of Northern Ireland. (dated 1st July 2010)

10.03.1971 Fusilier John Boreland McCaig Aged 17, ( B. Coy) (Single). From Ayr, While off duty with his Brother and a friend in a Belfast bar, he was talked into going to a party by some girls, he was taken to Ligoniel on the outskirts of Belfast where a group of men from the IRA were waiting. They ambushed the young soldier and his friends, then cold bloodily executed them, it was after this incident that the minimum age for soldiers serving in Northern Ireland was raised to eighteen.


10.03.1971 Fusilier Joseph McCaig Aged 18, ( B. Coy)  From Ayr (Single). The brother of Fusilier John McCaig, murdered in the same incident at Ligoniel on the outskirts of Belfast.


10.03.1971 Fusilier Dougald Purdon McCaughey Aged 23, (B. Coy). From Glasgow (Single), a friend of the two brothers John and Joseph McCaig, murdered in the same incident at Ligoniel on the outskirts of Belfast

David McCaughey and his daughter lay a wreath. (Bottom Left) On a crisp Spring afternoon the sun shone brightly in contrast to last year when it snowed as around 150 attended the now annual Service of Remembrance at White Brae in Ligoniel at the site of the brutal murder of the three young Scottish soldiers John and Joseph McCaig aged 17 and 18 and Dougald McCaughey aged 23. The three boys were lured from a city centre pub, taken to White Brae and shot by republican terrorists, known to have come from Ardoyne. Standing at the site of their deaths those who had gathered observed the traditional two minutes silence followed by a simple wreath laying ceremony with tributes laid by a representative of the McCaughey family, by an ex member of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, the City of Belfast, Oldpark / Cavehill RBL and on behalf of the people of the Greater Shankill, Ballysillan and Ligoniel. The simple service was led by Rev. Robin Moore, RBL Branch chaplain.

David McCaughey (cousin of Dougald McCaughey) along with Ballysillan resident who as a young girl found the three boys at the site. (Photo Right)


02.01.1977 L/Cpl David Hind Aged 23(A.Coy) from Kilmarnock. (Single). Shot when on patrol in Crossmaglen Co Armagh.


20.07.1980 Cpl Robert M Thompson Aged 26 (A. Coy)  From Strathclyde. (Married). Killed as his foot patrol approached a parked car at Moy Bridge near Aughnacloy, the car contained a bomb. The bomb was detonated by remote control.

[ Cpl Robert M Thompson ]


25.05.2001  Fusilier S G Wells Aged 21 (Cop Plt) (Single). Killed in a Road Traffic Accident