IRA killed our dad exactly 30 years ago – can anyone help us get justice?

Stephen Smith and wife (later widow) Tina on their wedding day.  Corporal Smith, aged 31 at time of death, was also survived by four children
Stephen Smith and wife (later widow) Tina on their wedding day. Corporal Smith, aged 31 at time of death, was also survived by four children
Share this article

Our dad, Corporal Stephen Smith of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, was murdered by PIRA terrorists on July 2, 1989. We are survivors of that heinous attack.

Our father was a happy man known to his friends as ‘Smudge’. The Army and his family were the pillars from which he drew strength and he was devoted to both institutions. Our dad was a career soldier and dedicated family man.

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

Louise and Lee remember spending hours with Dad, helping him to polish his boots to be as shiny as a mirror. It wasn’t a tedious task but a treasured time, during which our dad showed us his perseverance and commitment to his profession.

As serious as he was about his duties, dad had a playful and impish side and we well remember the playful pranks that he played on our mum.

We remember dad loved to fish in his hometown of Cleckheaton when we visited from Germany. He liked to listen to Chris de Burgh and Roger Whittaker. He like steamed puddings and his brogues, which he wore with everything. He loved his fish tanks.

Most importantly, we remember him loving us.

He’d take us everywhere with him, to the mess hall for a paper cup full of sausages, to the storehouses for our favourite chocolates, and even the tattoo shop when he got his British Bulldog tattoo and Louise got her ears pierced

for the first time. These many small moments were the taste, the sound and the soul of our Dad and they meant everything to us.

The terrorist attack upon our young family that evening completely changed the direction of life as we knew it.

We were going out as a family to a local fairground when the car exploded.

The terrorists knew full well we were a very soft target, a family with little children in an unpatrolled civilian neighbourhood. Our father was killed instantaneously by a booby trap bomb attached to his beloved car as he opened the driver’s door, on a Friday afternoon on a quiet street in Hanover, West Germany.

Tina did survive, however like the destructive nature of a bomb, the fabric of our life was torn apart by shrapnel, fractured and scattered, never to be made whole again. Our many serious physical injuries were only the introduction to our new life. We healed physically but we are left with our broken spirits and hearts which have yet to mend.

On the 30th anniversary since our father’s brutal murder we call upon anyone with information connected with the attack upon him and our family to come forward and assist our efforts at securing justice, truth and accountability.

This is a poem daughter Jade (now Endicott) has written to mark the 30th anniversary:

No words we write can ever say,

How much we miss you every single day,

But as Time Goes by,

the Loneliness only grows.

How we miss you nobody knows,

No one knows our sorrows,

No one sees us weep,

Be strong they say it will be ok!!

But please tell me how any of this is ok,

We never stop loving you and I’m sure we never will deep inside our hearts you will always be with us,

But heartache in this world are many,

But ours is worse than any,

our hearts still ache to this day,

The feelings we feel so deeply are often the hardest to say,

But I just can’t keep quiet anymore so I’ll tell you anyway there’s a place in my heart that nobody else can fill

We love you Dad

The Smith family (daughters Jade, Leanna, and Louise, and son Lee), UK and Canada