On this day: 25 May 1971

Mushroom

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Michael Willetts was one of the first British soldiers to be killed during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. He was awarded a posthumous George Cross for his heroism in saving lives during a Provisional Irish Republican Army bombing which claimed his own life.

Willetts was killed in Springfield Road RUC station by the Provisional IRA. A man in his mid-twenties emerged from a car and threw a suitcase containing a blast bomb into the lobby of the station. Willetts thrust two children and two adults into a corner and stood above them as the 30 lbs of explosives detonated, seriously injuring him.

As he was being removed by ambulance, he and the injured officers were jeered by local youths who screamed obscenities at them. Willetts died after two hours on the operating table at Royal Victoria Hospital. He left behind a wife and two children.

The Harvey Andrews song "Soldier" commemorates Willetts' sacrifice. Andrews was so struck by the incident that he wrote the song to highlight the senselessness of violence and to make the point that soldiers, too, are human, and that Sgt Willetts had laid down his life for people who considered British soldiers to be nothing more than murderers.

RIP
 


GDPR

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Shouldnt you be ashamed of yourself?

You are still stuck back in a very old-fashioned game.
 

Mushroom

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Shouldnt you be ashamed of yourself?
Probably not quite as ashamed as the Republican scum whose bomb murdered him or the hate-filled vermin who jeered at the ambulances who took the injured to hospital.
 

eoghanacht

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Lest we forget.


Is there to be a minutes silence across Britain today probably not, only the cruisers acolytes remember him.

FG must be really scared.
 

Speedfreak

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"He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,"— in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease. "He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me," —in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease. For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule.
 

Henry94.

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soldiers, too, are human, and that Sgt Willetts had laid down his life for people who considered British soldiers to be nothing more than murderers
The British Army was sent to the north of Ireland to "aid the civil power". That power was the orange government at Stormont. The most moral thing any British soldier could have done would be to refuse to go. They were the armed face of a failed policy that failed for decades after this unfortunate soldier met his end. Remember him by all means but let's not pretend the British Army we here to help Ireland or the Irish.
 

Plebian

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Poor chap.

Isn't it refreshing to see our Southern Unionist posters coming out of the closet.
 

ger12

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Probably not quite as ashamed as the Republican scum whose bomb murdered him or the hate-filled vermin who jeered at the ambulances who took the injured to hospital.
Is your sympathy and empathy one sided?
 

TheWolf

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Michael Willetts was one of the first British soldiers to be killed during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. He was awarded a posthumous George Cross for his heroism in saving lives during a Provisional Irish Republican Army bombing which claimed his own life.

Willetts was killed in Springfield Road RUC station by the Provisional IRA. A man in his mid-twenties emerged from a car and threw a suitcase containing a blast bomb into the lobby of the station. Willetts thrust two children and two adults into a corner and stood above them as the 30 lbs of explosives detonated, seriously injuring him.

As he was being removed by ambulance, he and the injured officers were jeered by local youths who screamed obscenities at them. Willetts died after two hours on the operating table at Royal Victoria Hospital. He left behind a wife and two children.

The Harvey Andrews song "Soldier" commemorates Willetts' sacrifice. Andrews was so struck by the incident that he wrote the song to highlight the senselessness of violence and to make the point that soldiers, too, are human, and that Sgt Willetts had laid down his life for people who considered British soldiers to be nothing more than murderers.

RIP
The only good brit soldier in Ireland is a dead one.
 

ger12

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ger12

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I don't sympathise with terrorists. Do you?
Of those killed by plastic bullets, half were children, as young as ten years of age.

Yourself and Mushroom select who deserves your empathy and compassion. That narrow view leads to further division.
 

petaljam

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The British Army was sent to the north of Ireland to "aid the civil power". That power was the orange government at Stormont. The most moral thing any British soldier could have done would be to refuse to go. They were the armed face of a failed policy that failed for decades after this unfortunate soldier met his end. Remember him by all means but let's not pretend the British Army we here to help Ireland or the Irish.
My very earliest memory afaik is the Army marching up Bishop Street in Derry, I think it was actually when they first arrived, certainly the very earliest days anyway, and the reason I remember it is because ordinary people were so happy and relieved to see them arrive, because they were sent as a rampart to protect civilians from the local police who were openly colluding with loyalists. Older children used to be sent out to bring them cups of tea and biscuits, and I also remember them explaining to the boys how their guns worked.

(I have no love for the British Army, but it irritates the hell out of me to see southerners faking interest in their fellow countrymen in the north for their own purely political ends. Against my will, I find myself having some sympathy for Glenshane's views of "staters". Or is it "Eirefolk"? :rolleyes:)
 
D

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Of those killed by plastic bullets, half were children, as young as ten years of age.

Yourself and Mushroom select who deserves your empathy and compassion. That narrow view leads to further division.
Ah yes, that old chestnut. The British Army were just terrorists too. I'm not getting dragged down that wabbit hole.

I'm not "selecting" who deserves compassion. That man sacrificed his life to safe innocent people (including children). So, what's wrong with commemorating him?
 

ger12

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Ah yes, that old chestnut. The British Army were just terrorists too. I'm not getting dragged down that wabbit hole.

I'm not "selecting" who deserves compassion. That man sacrificed his life to safe innocent people (including children). So, what's wrong with commemorating him?
Nothing, it was an act of bravery. We could fill every day of the year with threads for brave people on P.ie., from many conflicts.

There's no old chestnut there. It was a terrible conflict, whose roots grew in human rights abuses by those charged with running the six counties. It's not black and white. Depicting it as such is poor form. Making political hay out of it is also poor form.
 
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Mushroom

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"He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,"— in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease. "He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me," —in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease. For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule.
Let none find fault with others; let none see the omissions and commissions of others. But let one see one’s own acts, done and undone.
 

petaljam

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Nothing, it was an act of bravery. We could fill every day of the year with threads for brave people on P.ie., from many conflicts.

There's no old chestnut there. It was a terrible conflict, whose roots grew in human rights abuses by those charged with running the six counties. It's not black and white. Depicting it as such is poor form. Making political hay out of it is also poor form.
Says the poster who started a thread about one FG leadership contender's alleged views about Sinn Fein.
For purely non "political hay" reasons I'm sure.

LOL
 


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