M62 coach-bomb survivors sought for new memorial

Date published: 19 January 2009

SURVIVORS of the M62 coach bombing 35 years ago are being sought to take part in a special memorial event.

The Oldham Liaison of Ex-Service Association is looking to make contact with members of the families of the soldiers who lost their lives, and other civilians, to take part in a dedication service on February 4.

A total of 12 British soldiers and some family members were killed when 50lb of explosives tore through the back of an army leave coach on February 4, 1974.

The coach, which had picked up people at Mumps Bridge, as well as Chorlton Street, Manchester, and Huddersfield, was travelling to the Catterick Barracks and RAF base at Leeming, near Darlington.

The explosion came shortly after midnight just as the vehicle approached Hartshead Moor service station, near Brighouse, West Yorkshire.

Among those killed was L/Cpl James John McShane (28), of Long Lane, Chadderton, and Fusilier Jack Hynes (19), from Age Croft, Alt.

It was believed that the provisional IRA was behind the blast and Judith Ward, from Stockport, was jailed for life after confessing to the outrages. But after spending 18 years in jail, she had her convictions quashed in 1992 due to her mental state when she confessed.

A plaque commemorating those who died is currently positioned at the entrance of the the westbound section of the service station, but has been deemed inadequate. Now, in conjunction with Life for a Life Memorial Forests Charity and the Royal British Legion, a new memorial has been built.

A dedication service will take place at 11am at the site of the bombings on the westbound section of the motorway 35 years to the day of the blast.

Among those who will attend is the Bishop of Beverley, the Rt Rev Martyn Jarrett.

Alan Noble, association chairman, believes there are many people in the Oldham area that they have been unable to trace.

He said: “It is very important to have a memorial there as it is where British soldiers lost their lives.

“All 12 families have been found that had fatalities and we are now in the process of getting in contact with more survivors.

“Some people may not live in the same area or know that this is taking place.”

To get in contact or for more details call 0161-628 7779.

Is your name on passenger list?

THE names, and ages at the time, of the survivors who boarded at Mumps Bridge, Oldham, were :

David Joseph Dendek (9)

Catherine Anne Dendek (14)

Signalman Terence Walsh (22)

Signalman Alan Parry (23)

Fusilier Peter John Dowd (18)

Fusilier Raymond Peter Stericker (19)

Fusilier David Kirby (19)

Jennifer Anne McMahon, WRAC (24)

Craftsman Paul Vincent Bell (20)

Signalman Stephen Hilton (18)

Fusilier Paul David Hindley (17)

Survivors who boarded at Chorlton Street, Manchester:

Fusilier Colin Frank Price (18)

Gunner John Wall (17), RAF regiment

Fusilier David Richard Hughes (19)

Fusilier Raymond Alan Burns (21)

Signalman Alan Dutton (27)

Airman Mark Stephen Bagnall (17)

Elizabeth Dewhurst (34), housewife

Tracey Dewhirst (13)

Fusilier Keith David Merifield (17)

Mechanic Anthony Charles Roach (27), Royal Electrical and Mechical Engineers

Signalman Michael Hamilton (18)

L/Cpl Roy Young (24)

Signalman Thomas Mitchell Baird (21)

Signalman James George Brocklehurst (24)

Signalman Carl Anthony Maycock (19)

Fusilier Philip Hutchinson (17)

Fusilier Nigel Boden (18)

Signalman David Edward Broughton (27)

Signalman Eric Young (22)

Signalman Richard Neville Maw (20)

Signalman Terrence O’Neill (23)

Trooper Thomas Judge (17)

Trooper Michael Ashton (20)

Aircraftsman Donald Wood (17)

Fusilier David Alan Robinson (20)

Fusilier John Foy, RAF Mechanic (25)

Gunner Trevor John Goodwin (22)

Signalman Scott Robert Farrell (17)

Signalman William Cornelius Yates (18

Fusilier Keith Baylock (20)

Fusilier Paul Michael Andrews (21)

Fusilier John Anderson Bremner (18)

Survivor who boarded at Huddersfield:

Signalman Anthony Stephen Baines (17)