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Moira honours teen soldier Trevor Bell who died in Aden

By Cate McCurry

Dozens of people have attended a remembrance parade and service to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Co Armagh Irish Guardsman Trevor Bell.

The teenage soldier from Moira was killed in an ambush during the uprising against Crown forces in the British colony of Aden, which is now part of Yemen.

He died at just 19 on April 20, 1967.

The special service was held near Moira yesterday in what was described as a "poignant day" for members of the Bell family.

Brought up in the Meadow Road area of the vilage, he joined the Irish Guards as a boy soldier and was soon deployed to the Middle East.

He received a mention in dispatches for his bravery on the day he was killed.

In the tribute, members of the Ulster Branch of the Irish Guards Association paraded to Trummery Cemetery, where he is buried.

Senior Padre Col Alex Bennett from Thiepval Barracks in Lisburn conducted a short service at the graveside.

It was followed by a wreath-laying.

Veterans who served and were with Trevor on the evening of his death were present.

Also in attendance were Lisburn and Castlereagh mayor Brian Bloomfield and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP MP for Lagan Valley.

Four of Mr Bell's brothers attended the service, as well as members of the wider family circle.

Speaking after the parade and service, brother John said: "It was a poignant day for us but it is gratifying to see that Trevor has not been forgotten."

Mr Donaldson said it was an important occasion to mark the anniversaries of those who "sacrificed their lives" in conflicts.

"The Bell family was greatly encouraged by the very strong turnout from the military fraternity and from the members of the public who attended, and their sense of loss, even 50 years later, would have been helped by the support of those who came along," he said.

"After Trevor Bell's death he was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery in providing covering fire for other members of his patrol, and he lost his life while doing that.

"At his funeral in 1967 there were over 5,000 people present at the small country graveyard at Trummery.

"Yesterday's citation was read by the chairman of the Ulster Branch of the Irish Guards Association, Major Bert Smith."

He added: "Aden is a conflict which is very often overlooked and it's important that we remember those who sacrificed their lives in far off countries in service of our country, and we need to let the families know that their loved ones are not forgotten."

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