Tribute to teenage soldier, 45 years after he was killed while on duty

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Tribute will be paid to a young Halifax soldier who was killed in Northern Ireland on the 45th anniversary of his death.

Gunner Peter William Raistrick was just 18 when he was shot by a sniper when manning an observation post at Brooke Park, Londonderry, on June 11, 1972, at the height of the Troubles.

John Swaine begins work on renovating Gunner Peter Raistrick's grave at Illingworth Moor Methodist Church, Halifax

John Swaine begins work on renovating Gunner Peter Raistrick's grave at Illingworth Moor Methodist Church, Halifax

The Royal Artilleryman is buried at Illingworth Moor Methodist Church, Keighley Road, and fellow veterans have been restoring his grave ahead of a graveside tribute service there around noon this Sunday, June 11.

Veteran John Swaine said the service would also be attended by Royal British Legion representatives and the Last Post would be played by a lone bugler.

“We have tried to find relatives of Peter but hit a blank wall. We found out his brother is buried in the same grave as Peter, believe his father became reclusive and has passed away and we have no idea if there are any other family members,” he said.

From an old newspaper clipping, John said it appeared Gunner Raistrick had been due to marry his girlfriend when he was killed.

“The Northern Ireland Veterans Association located the grave and recorded it. It was in bad disarray and the association asked us to sort it out. We have got all the ground cut out and by Sunday members of his old regiment will rebox it, cover it with slate and try and clean up the headstone. A dedicated roundstone with his name, rank and number will also be incorporated into it,” said John.

“We are just making sure the lad is not forgotten.”