Today We Remember

Today marks the 34th anniversary of the brutal murders of Cpl Derek Wood and Cpl David Howes.

I'm sure no one alive today can forget what happened to these two men as images were shown around the globe by the media live as it happened !

The funeral cortege of IRA terrorist Kevin Brady was taking place and travelling slowly down the Andersonstown Road in West Belfast towards Milltown cemetery. Sinn Fein/IRA stewards were marshalling traffic and providing security during the event. Armed IRA volunteers were also in the crowd. (At the time it was PIRA, but as I have mentioned before all these breakaway fraction groups were and are the same thing, IRA terrorists). The security forces gave the event a wide berth in an attempt to reduce tensions, although a surveillance helicopter was airborne over the area.

As the funeral cortege made its way, a silver VW Passat could be seen approaching the procession it was stopped by the Sinn Fein/IRA stewards and directed to turn around and move away. The vehicle reversed at speed mounting the pavement as it did so, causing the crowd gathered to assume that loyalists were trying to mount an attack. It should be highlighted that the IRA terrorist Brady had been killed 3 days previously at another IRA terrorist funeral by Michael Stone.

However, the occupants of the vehicle were in fact Cpl Derek Wood and Corporal David Howes, both members of the British army's Royal Corps of Signals attached to Joint Communications Unit (JCU), Northern Ireland, known as "the Det".

The vehicle was quickly surrounded, with black taxis boxing it in from the front and rear. As the crowd surrounded the vehicle, Wood drew his pistol as a warning and for a few moments, the crowd pulled back. Cpl Wood used this time to try to get out through the window on the driver's side of the car, which had already been smashed by the crowd, but the crowd moved in again and began to drag him out of the vehicle. On the passenger side, the window was smashed and Howes was set upon, though he didn't produce a weapon at any stage. A warning shot was fired into the air by Wood, it was the first and only shot to be fired by either soldier that day.

As TV crews filmed the scene unfolding in front of them, IRA members of the crowd demanded they stopped, and in some cases, the equipment was seized and destroyed. The surveillance helicopter kept filming the scene below.

Both men having been dragged from the car were taken to the bottom of Casement Park where they were strip-searched and brutally beaten further. Fr Alec Reid, a Catholic priest tried to hold off the attackers as the two men lay on the ground but he was escorted away. Cpl Wood and Cpl Howes's savage ordeal did not end there, both men were thrown over a wall and then bundled into taxis, they were driven to wasteland near Penny Lane. Again they were savagely beaten and stabbed repeatedly before being shot multiple times at point-blank range.

Corporal Wood was shot six times: twice in the head and four times in the chest. He had also been stabbed four times in the back of the neck. Howes was shot five times: once in the head and four times in the body. Each also had multiple injuries to other parts of their bodies.