Soldiers involved in Operation Motorman met for a 50th reunion party at the weekend while families of those killed held commemoration events in Derry.
The gathering has prompted a solicitor representing the family of 15-year-old victim Daniel Hegarty to write to the director of public prosecutions requesting that the organiser and guests of the event be contacted.
Desmond Doherty advised the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) that it may assist with tracking down a man known as Soldier A, who has proven “elusive”.
Soldier A is believed to have accompanied Soldier B — the man accused of killing Hegarty.
Following an inquest in 2011, a jury found that Hegarty and his cousins Christopher and Thomas, who were with him, did not pose any threat. Christopher was also shot, but survived.
Moves to prosecute Soldier B were stopped by the director of public prosecutions on legal grounds.
Hegarty’s family are challenging that decision.
Mr Doherty said the PPS would be aware of the “upset” that this reunion event has caused.
Hegarty was one of two teenagers shot dead in Derry’s Creggan estate during the operation, which was carried out in the early hours of July 31, 1972, with the aim of retaking “no-go areas” in Derry and Belfast.
Hegarty was shot twice in the head with a heavy-duty machine gun at almost point-blank range.
The Army attempted to blacken his name by claiming he was carrying a nail bomb, but later withdrew the allegation.
In a monthly newsletter, the Scots Guards Association invited guardsmen who served on “Op Motorman or Op Banner and friends or other veterans” to a ‘Operation Motorman 50 Reunion’.
It took place at the Scots Guards Club in Edinburgh on Saturday “to mark the 50th anniversary of Operation Motorman which the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards took part in the province of Northern Ireland”.
The newsletter said: “The 2nd Battalion’s task on this operation was to clear out ‘the No Go areas’ which had been set up by large elements of PIRA in the Bogside area of Londonderry in 1972.
“I would ask any one who is going to attend this 50th anniversary event if they could PM myself if not already done so.
“Just to confirm numbers for a buffet and a curry later in the evening the cost of this would be £10 for both.
“All timings are the good old Scottish ish. ie Toast 12.00ish Dress: smart / casual, Ladies as beautiful as usual.”
The bar was said to open at 10am and part of the proceedings included a “presentation” to the club to mark the anniversary.
Colonel JM Clavering OBE MC was among the guests.
He had command of the 2nd Battalion’s Right Flank during the operation.
In a piece previously published in the Guards Magazine, Col Clavering spoke of the lack of training guardsmen had before entering the streets of Derry.
“Forming a new company virtually from scratch with a large percentage of young guardsmen straight from the depot and newly commissioned platoon commanders was something of a challenge,” he said while paying tribute to a former colleague.
He added: “In July of that year, at relatively short notice and with limited pre-tour training the Battalion was deployed to Londonderry for Operation Motorman to remove the republican ‘no go’ areas.
“This proved to be something of an anti-climax as the IRA melted away over the border and force levels were then severely reduced.
“However the Battalion was retained in the city to be responsible for the hard-republican areas of the Bogside and Brandywell with Right Flank responsible for the latter.”
The family of Daniel Hegarty said when the teenager was killed the British Government also murdered justice and the Rule of Law.
"The current British Government is doing the same,” a statement continued.
“Operation Carcan was the secret code within Operation Motorman for Derry. By definition, it is a means of death by a blunt instrument. Fifty years on, the British Government and their supporters continue to bluntly murder justice and the rule of law.
“It seems to us that Operation Carcan is still continuing in respect of Daniel’s murder and more widely. We are all living in a nightmare of a never-ending stream of injustice.”
They added: “Shooting a defenceless and small, harmless child in the head at point-blank range was acceptable to the British Army in 1972 and it is even more acceptable to them now.
“Daniel’s inquest in 2011 lawfully paved the way for the prosecution of Soldier B for murder. But the state is protecting him and itself and will continue to do so.
“The British state is legitimising the murder of innocent civilians and children by their own army.”
The PPS said as investigations are a matter for police, correspondence will be forwarded on to the PSNI.
The PSNI has not yet received correspondence on this matter.
“Once received, we will take time to study its content and will respond in due course,” police said.
The Army explained that the “contribution and sacrifice” of the servicemen and women who served during this time was commemorated in 2008.
It said: “Events and regimental reunions to mark the 50th anniversary have been largely co-ordinated by individual associations and veteran groups.”
The Scots Guards charity, which operates the website on which the newsletter appeared, has been contacted for comment.