Mr Roland Handley was behind the wheel of a coach targeted by IRA bombers in 1974.

Nine soldiers and three civilians, including two children, died in the terror attack.

The coach was carrying off-duty service personnel and relatives from Manchester to an Army base at Catterick, North Yorkshire, when a 50lb bomb left in a luggage locker detonated near Bradford as they slept. More than 50 others were injured.

Mr Handley, who was injured by flying glass, was hailed as a hero for bringing the coach safely to a halt. He died, aged 76, after a short illness in January last year in North Yorkshire.

Relatives of the victims join soldiers and veterans every year at a memorial service held around a remembrance plaque at Hartshead Services, off the westbound carriageway of the M62 motorway.

The aftermath of the M62 coach bombing in 1974
The aftermath of the M62 coach bombing in 1974

Roll Of Honour

Signalman Michael Waugh, 22, of Partington, Manchester, Signalman Paul Reid, 17, of Wythenshawe, Signalman Leslie Walsh, 17, of Tyldesley, near Wigan, Cpl Cliff Houghton, 23, Lance Cpl James McShane, 28, Fusilier Jack Hynes, 19, all of Oldham, Gunner Terence Griffin, 24, from Bolton, Fusilier Stephen Whalley, 18, of Middleton, Gunner Leonard Godden, 22, of Kent, Corporal Cliff Houghton’s wife Linda, 24, and their two sons Lee, five, and Robert, two, were also killed.

Retired captain Joe Eastwood, who served with 2nd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was the B Company platoon commander of five of the soldiers. He said:

It was a cowardly attack but it is important that we continue to honour the victims.

Alan Noble, deputy chairman of the Fusiliers’ Association in Lancashire, said veterans and soldiers from across the country would take part in the memorial. He said:

It is well-attended every year and this year we will honour Roland as well as all the others who lost their lives.

The attack happened on February 4, 1974. The prime suspect for the bombing was the Provisional IRA, but it never officially admitted responsibility.