Memorial service remembers the victims of M62 coach bombing 45 years on

Deputy Mayor of Calderdale, Coun Chris Pillai, spoke at the memorial
Deputy Mayor of Calderdale, Coun Chris Pillai, spoke at the memorial

People gathered at Hartshead Moor Service Station 45 years on from a devastating incident that claimed the lives of 12 people.

On February 4 1974, during an industrial dispute with the train services, a coach carrying off-duty British Armed Forces personnel and their family members was travelling from Manchester to Catterick.

Relatives of those who were killed join soldiers and veterans every year at a memorial service at Hartshead Moor Services

Relatives of those who were killed join soldiers and veterans every year at a memorial service at Hartshead Moor Services

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The coach was progressing east bound along the M62 when just after midnight, between junction 26 and 27. the coach exploded with most of the passengers asleep at the time. Nine service people, one wife and two children lost their lives in the explosion which was suspected to have been the work of the Provisional IRA.

Relatives of those who were killed join soldiers and veterans every year at a memorial service at Hartshead Moor Services, which became a clearing station for the emergency services throughout the night of the incident.

Deputy Mayor of Calderdale, Coun Chris Pillai, spoke at the memorial. He said: “After the incident a memorial plate was positioned in the entrance to the services which was proved inadequate and incorrectly located.

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"In 2009, led by families, a new memorial was established here in respect of the deceased, which involved families, Royal British legion, Oldham Liaison of Ex Services and Life for A Life, although it must be stressed that families did conduct a service every year on the nearest Sunday to February 4 which still happens today.”

The memorial site can be found at the services and includes an oak tree and memorial plaque with the names of those who died.