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Remembrance Day: Bus bombing survivors reunite with rescuers to recall victims

By Rebecca Black

Published 14/11/2016

Survivors of the Ballygawley bus bombing and the rescuers who pulled them from the wreckage came together for a poignant roadside service to remember the eight soldiers who died.

Some 15 former soldiers travelled to Co Tyrone from England for the event, 28 years after the IRA bomb in the early hours of August 20, 1988. It killed eight and injured a further 28 who had been on board the bus.

One of the injured who travelled to Northern Ireland this weekend was James Leatherbarrow (49).

He was rescued from under the bus wreckage by members of two marching bands who came upon the scene of devastation, including the Omagh Protestant Boys and Londonderry band the Star of the Valley.

He was reunited with Grace Curry, a bandswoman who nursed him as he lay seriously injured at the roadside. She recently secured funding for eight solar powered lights to keep the memorial lit around the clock.

Mr Leatherbarrow told the Belfast Telegraph that this year more former soldiers than ever before had attended the roadside service and were left touched by the efforts of local people to remember their colleagues.

"Every year people do a little bit extra for us, it's incredible," he said.

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