Fusilier John McCaig

John McCaig was 17 years old and lived at home with his family in Ayr, Scotland.  He was a happy young man who enjoyed spending time with his friends and family.

When his brother, Joseph joined the British Army, John quickly followed him.  Both served with ‘B’ Company of the 1st Battalion Royal Highland Fusiliers.  The Provisional Irish Republican Army brutally murdered John alongside his brother and their friend Dougald - the first British Soldiers to be killed while off-duty.  

He was shot twice and found a couple of feet away from Joseph and Dougald suggesting John was the last to be shot, having witnessed the sudden shooting of his brother and Dougald he attempted to flee. 

John was the youngest soldier to be killed in Northern Ireland.  His death sent shock waves throughout the United Kingdom, the political establishment and the British Army.

 

His death forced an immediate change in policy, leading to the minimum serving age in operations raised to 18.

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