Kingsmill relatives prepare to remember their dead

The bullet riddled minibus from which 10 Protestant workmen were ordered from before they were shot dead in January 1976
Connla Young

THE families of 10 Protestant men shot dead at Kingsmill will gather at the spot where they died for a religious service.

The men died after the minibus they were travelling in was stopped as they made their way home from work on January 5, 1976.

The victims were ordered from the vehicle by armed men and a Catholic co-worker was told leave the area.

All but one of his Protestant workmates were then shot dead.

Despite being hit 18 times one man, Alan Black, survived the attack which was later claimed by the South Armagh Republican Action Force.

The attack took place close to where Catholic brothers, John Martin Reavey (24) and Brian Reavey (22) were shot dead a day earlier by the UVF's Glenanne Gang.

A third brothers Anthony (17) died weeks later from his injuries.

Within minutes of the Reavey murders three members of the O’Dowd family were killed near Gilford in Co Down by the same gang.

Loyalist victims campaigner Willie Frazer has campaigned on behalf of the families of those killed at Kingsmill and said the memory of the event remains fresh for many relatives.

"It’s a very upsetting time for them," he said.

"It’s been a very hard journey.

"The families feel they were forgotten about until the last number of years.

"They were expected to stay silent and go away."

The service for the men will be held on Tuesday


The 10 men killed at Kingsmill were:

John Bryans, 46

Robert Chambers, 19

Reginald Chapman, 25

Walter Chapman, 23

Robert Freeburn, 50

Joseph Lemmon, 46

John McConville, 20

James McWhirter, 58

Kenneth Worton, 24

Robert Walker, 46

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