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Site Author




William Gordon Jolliffe


Christian Names

Service Number



Jolliffe William Gordon 24177549 L/Cpl 3 Division Provost Company, Royal Military Police



Enlisted at


Pinkley Wiltshire 18    

Date of Death

Where killed

Cause of Death

01/03/1971 Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry Asphyxiation - from fire extinguisher fumes




Tidworth Military Cemetery F 127 England

Next of Kin

Next of kin address


Mrs LM Joliffe   Chippenham


Young Soldier is Victim of Petrol Bomb Attack

A young Military Policeman whose home is in Chippenham died in a Londonderry hospital early on Monday shortly after a petrol bomb attack set his landrover ablaze.

He was Lance Corporal William Joliffe, 18, of The Croft, Bath Road, Chippenham.

L/Cpl Joliffe was fatally injured in the north east corner of Bogside, Londonderry when the landrover was attacked as it passed the corner of Westland and Cable Street on a routine patrol.

The vehicle was confronted by a youth who threw what looked like a petrol bomb which did not explode. At the same time 15 to 20 youths converged from both sides and threw 10 petrol bombs, all of which exploded, 4 against the vehicle and the rest on the road.

The vehicle mounted the pavement and hit a wall. The driver got out and fell to the ground as he did so.

He picked himself up and went back towards the vehicle but could not get near it because of the flames. He was stoned by the crowd of youths but charged them and arrested one before running him to a police station while still being stoned.

L/Cpl Joliffe was taken from the back of the vehicle by residents of the street and was taken into a house and wrapped in blankets.

He was taken by ambulance to a Altnagelvin hospital where he died shortly after.

Two soldiers suffered shock but were not taken to hospital.

L/Cpl Joliffe had recently returned to Northern Ireland after being home on leave in Chippenham for the funeral of his father. He was the elder son of Mr and Mrs Alfred Joliffe. His younger brother, Harvey is serving in the RAF.

L/Cpl Joliffe joined the army about a year ago after leaving Chippenham School.

The funeral will be a military funeral at Tidworth in which members of his company, the 3rd Division Provost Company will make up the bearer and firing parties.

Wiltshire Gazette and Herald 4 March 1971

Chippenham Soldier Buried with full Military Honours

The 19 year old Military Policeman who died after a Londonderry petrol bomb ambush was buried at Tidworth with full military honours.

The body of L/Cpl Joliffe was flown from Ireland on Thursday (4th March). The cortege was proceeded by 4 mounted Military Policemen.

As the gun carriage bearing the coffin drew up at the garrison church of St Michael, a family wreath was laid on top alongside the dead soldier’s red peaked cap and white blancoed belt. The body was borne into the church by 6 NCOs for the service conducted by the senior Army chaplain, Rev Robin Rowe.

Leading the mourners was Mrs LM Joliffe and her younger son, Alfred, a 16 year old RAF cadet.

Wiltshire Gazette and Herald 11 March 1971

Jolliffe was the third serviceman to be killed following the outbreak of The Troubles.

Memorials Commemorated on:

Chippenham Town War Memorial


Armed Forces Memorial, National Arboretum

Last updated - 22/12/2016



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