Man arrested over 1977 murder of Guisborough soldier on tour of duty during Northern Ireland troubles (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Man arrested over 1977 murder of Guisborough soldier on tour of duty during Northern Ireland troubles
A MAN has been arrested in connection with the murder of a North-East soldier during the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland.
Private Richard Turnbull was only 18 when he and a colleague were shot while serving in Belfast with the Third Light Infantry.
The teenager, from Guisborough, east Cleveland, was on a four-month tour of duty and had only been in the country for a few days when he was killed.
Police Service of Northern Ireland’s serious crime branch detectives have arrested a 54-year-old man in west Belfast in relation to the murders, a police spokeswoman said.
He was questioned at the serious crime suite in Antrim police station and later released pending a report to the Public Prosecutors Service.
Private Turnbull and 19-year-old private Michael Harrison, of Dinnington, South Yorkshire, died during a gun attack on British army vehicles by the IRA on June 29 in 1977.
A regimental padre and an officer were both injured in the attack, but not seriously when the Army patrol they were travelling in turned into the path of the ambush on North Howard Street, west Belfast.
Six people were charged in the wake of the shooting, with one sentenced to life for murder.
In 1979, 23-year-old Paul Peter McKenna of Cullingtree Road, Belfast was given a double life sentence for his part in the fatal attack on the soldiers.
During the 90s his family successfully campaigned to have their son’s name added to the Cenotaph in his home town, which was usually reserved for Second World War victims.
The teenage soldier’s parents, Derrick, who still lives in the town, and Anna, who passed away several years ago, were determined to have a lasting memorial to their son.
As a result of the campaign, the-then Langbaurgh Borough Council agreed to all the borough's 17 cenotaphs being open to any member of the forces who died for their country after the Second World War.
The council agreed to ask the Royal British Legion for the names of soldiers who died in the conflicts of Korea, Vietnam, Cyprus, the Falklands and Northern Ireland.
Private Turnbull’s family has declined to comment on the arrest of the man in connection with his death.
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