Sunday, 30 January 2011


I have been struck by the fact that in the New Cross fire, which we remembered last week and the Bloody Sunday shootings mentioned this week, 13 people died at the time and 1 a little later. In the case of Bloody Sunday it was a few months later, in New Cross more than a year... And in both these events most of the victims were no more than teenagers.

The New Cross victims ranged from 15-22 years old
Andrew Gooding, aged 18
Owen Thompson, aged 16
Patricia Johnson, aged 15
Patrick Cummings, aged 16
Steve Collins, aged 17
Lloyd Hall, aged 20
Humphrey Geoffrey Brown, aged 18
Roseline Henry, aged 16
Peter Campbell, aged 18
Gerry Paul Francis, aged 17
Glenton Powell, aged 15
Paul Ruddock, aged 22
Yvonne Ruddock, aged 16
Anthony Berbeck, aged 20, died after falling from the balcony of a block of council flats in South London on July 9, 1983. He was at the party and became mentally disturbed following the death of his best friends.

The majority of the Bloody Sunday victims were in the same age-group
Patrick ('Paddy') Doherty (31) 
Gerald Donaghy (17)
John ('Jackie') Duddy (17)
Hugh Gilmour (17)
Michael Kelly (17)
Michael McDaid (20)
Kevin McElhinney (17)
Bernard ('Barney') McGuigan (41)
Gerald McKinney (35)
William ('Willie') McKinney (26)
William Nash (19)
James ('Jim') Wray (22)
John Young (17)

John Johnston (59) was shot twice on 30 January 1972 and died on 16 June 1972. His family is convinced that he died prematurely and that his death was due to the injuries received and trauma he underwent on 'Bloody Sunday'.

In both cases a very sad loss of young lives and while the circumstances were very different, the parallels are striking.

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