MP Bob Stewart recalls terrorist bomb aftermath 30 years on

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BECKENHAM MP Bob Stewart has spoken about the “most traumatic thing” that has ever happened to him – the Droppin’ Well bomb.

His parliamentary speech was dedicated to the victims on the 30th anniversary of the terrorist attack in the pub disco in Bally Kelly, which was planted by the Irish National Liberation Army on December 6 1982. It killed 11 soldiers and six civilians, leaving 30 people injured.

Mr Stewart recalled the heart-wrenching scenes during a House of Commons debate on defence personnel, explaining to MPs how he told one of his regiment that his legs needed to be amputated at the scene.

He told News Shopper: “Thirty years ago tonight a massive explosion rocked my house. I was 33 and Major of the Cheshire regiment.

“I got there straight away and there was blackness where the Droppin’ Well was supposed to be and silence.”

“There was a teenage girl with no legs and one arm and had to tell her she was going to die. She asked me to hold her as she died.”

“I found another army officer leaning over with his stomach distended who broke his bag and is now a paraplegic.

“My clerk who I had been playing squash with earlier in the day was lying motionless.

“I lost six soldiers from my company. It was the most traumatic thing that’s ever happened to me.

He added: “I want to make it clear that it’s not just soldiers coming back from Afghanistan, it’s also those who have been injured decades ago who are still suffering.  I will do my best to remember them, those people I saw 30 years ago.”

Following his emotional contribution, MP for Lewisham East Heidi Alexander said: “It would be fair to say myself and Mr Stewart have very different political views but having listened to the speech he has just made, some of those views become irrelevant given what he has just said. “

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