‘We folded into each other’s arms and cried after William died’

David Temple, who lost his brother William in the Claudy bombing, pictured at name plaques for the victims at the memorial in the centre of the village.
David Temple, who lost his brother William in the Claudy bombing, pictured at name plaques for the victims at the memorial in the centre of the village.

The family of a 16-year-old boy who was killed in the IRA attack on the village of Claudy threw their arms around each other and wept when they got the news, his brother has said.

David Temple said his brother, William, was on his first ever milk delivery round when he was killed along with eight others in the July 1972 atrocity.

William Temple died in the IRA bomb attack on Claudy in 1972. Aged 16, he was helping do milk deliveries when he was killed by the third bomb. This patch has been dedlicated to him on a memorial quilt constructed by the South East Fermanagh Foundation, featuring the scene of his death, and a football and cricket bat.

William Temple died in the IRA bomb attack on Claudy in 1972. Aged 16, he was helping do milk deliveries when he was killed by the third bomb. This patch has been dedlicated to him on a memorial quilt constructed by the South East Fermanagh Foundation, featuring the scene of his death, and a football and cricket bat.

He was speaking to the News Letter ahead of a special service for ‘Children of the Troubles’ in Fivemiletown Methodist Church this Sunday. The event is the annual service for South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) which will see a new memorial quilt unveiled featuring special patches dedicated to murdered young people.

David said: “William got through the first bomb, he got cut by the second and he walked straight into the third.”

He added: “My happiest memories of William were playing cricket and football together. We enjoyed fishing together. We were a good family growing.”

His family had four brothers and three sisters. Their uncle broke the news to them. “We just looked at each other and folded into each others’ arms and cried as a family.”

William Temple died in the IRA bomb attack on Claudy in 1972. Aged 16, he was helping do milk deliveries when he was killed.

William Temple died in the IRA bomb attack on Claudy in 1972. Aged 16, he was helping do milk deliveries when he was killed.

David will be travelling to the service on Sunday. “I like to see these quilts being dedicated so that the past can never be rewritten,” he said.

A patch previously dedicated to his brother showed the scene of his death, a football and cricket bat.

SEFF’s Kenny Donaldson said they would host families from near and far this Sunday.

“Their shared commonality is that they are all innocent victims and survivors of terrorism – Protestant, Roman Catholic and Dissenter,” he said.

The memorial quilt to be dedicated contains a special central tribute to children murdered through terrorism. The group aims to contribute to healing, he added.

The latest memorial quilt features 62 patches dedicated to innocents murdered through terrorism in the Troubles.