Memorial service for Grangemouth TA troops who died in River Trent tragedy

Pedestrians stop in silent tribute as the coffins of two part-time paratroopers killed in the River Trent disaster are carried through Falkirk High Street in October 1975.
Pedestrians stop in silent tribute as the coffins of two part-time paratroopers killed in the River Trent disaster are carried through Falkirk High Street in October 1975.

The ten members of Territorial Army 300 Troop 131 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers who lost their lives in a tragic training exercise will be remembered on Sunday.

People will gather at the River Trent memorial in Grangemouth’s Zetland Park from 10.40am to pay tribute to the sappers – Norman Bennett, James Black, Raymond Buchanan, Peter Evenden, Stuart Evenden, Ian Mercer, Alexander O’Brien, Terry Smith, Ronald Temprell and Joseph Walker – all in their late teens or early 20s who drowned when their assault boat was swept over a weir known locally as the Devil’s Cauldron during a force six gale in 1975. There was only one survivor from the 11-man crew.

Family members of the departed will join ex members of the Airborne Engineers, 131 Commando Engineers, Parachute Squadron, Armed Forces Cadets and others to gather for a service, wreath laying ceremony and two minute silence to remember the young men who lost their lives 44 years earlier.

Refreshments will be available at the Royal British Legion in Dundas Street after the service.