Belfast Telegraph

Family’s final salute to soldier

The sisters of a British soldier killed by the IRA almost 40 years ago placed flowers for the first time yesterday at the spot where a sniper shot him.

Lance Corporal Richard Miller (21) was on undercover duty on the streets beside Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital when he was ambushed in August 1973.

On what would have been his 58th birthday, the two women from the north east of England stood by themselves on the Falls Road yesterday and quietly remembered their only brother.

Mother-of-three Karyn Jackson (51) from the Ashbrooke area of Sunderland, said: “I found it very emotional, but I'm glad I came to see where he died.

“I was only 14 at the time and didn’t really understand. I heard and watched my parents’ pain, but there was no bitterness.”

Cpl Miller, who served with the Light Infantry, was in an unmarked car outside what was then the main hospital entrance — just opposite St Paul's Catholic Church — he was hit in the body by a gunman who opened fire from the back of a speeding red Audi.

Nobody was ever charged.

Mrs Jackson travelled to Belfast with her younger sister Louisa Wilkinson (44).

Their father, Richard, died 13 years ago.

Mrs Jackson said: “Dad talked about him a lot and he was never bitter. It was a difficult time. The police came to the door in the middle of the night and it was arranged that my parents would go over to Belfast that morning.

“We lived in hope that Richard would pull through and be OK. It was a sad time but he spoke well of the people of Northern Ireland and how the hospital staff had been so good to him and mum. He never held anything against the people here. None of us did and I’m so glad I came.”

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