A doctor who treated soldiers injured in the 1988 Ballygawley bomb says they were so young they reminded him of his own children.
Dr Dominic Pimto, who is originally from Goa and is British, was a consultant in general surgery at Tyrone County Hospital when he got an emergency call in the small hours of the morning.
“The ambulances were bringing in young soldiers who were injured,” he said. “Firstly I noticed how young they were, around 18-19 – just like my own children at the time. However the soldiers were all very disciplined and quiet.
“The casualties were being brought in a few at a time. We operated all that night and the next day.
“Only later when it was quiet did we have time to chat to them. When you talked to them you realised they were just youngsters. You are sad by what has been done. It was heartbreaking, terrible, especially as they were so young.”
He said they were “very stoical” but added he was very sorry for them coming from England to suffer here.
“They were not actually fighting a war,” he added. “Eight of them were called to make the supreme sacrifice.”
He did not lose any of the patients he treated that night and no amputations were needed.
Some soldiers were treated at the South Tyrone Hospital.