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Even Michael Stone, sentenced to 638 years, was released two years later.

Corporal Wood’s father, also called Derek, who is now dead, was moved to say in 1998: ‘I have no shred of comfort in thinking that the death of those two lads helped the peace process.

This week Father Reid also spoke for the first time, to the BBC, about his courageous attempts to save two lives.

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At the centre of the maelstrom on the day they died was an extraordinary figure; the local missionary priest, Father Reid, who was in fact privy to so much secret, high-level peace negotiation that the head of the IRA’s Belfast brigade nicknamed him ‘Behind the Scenes’.Contemporary TV and photographic footage from the large media presence shows the funeral cortege advancing slowly along Andersonstown Road towards Milltown Cemetery, headed by a number of the black taxis favoured by the IRA.It was at this moment that the corporals’ car, with Wood at the wheel, came towards it at speed from the opposite direction.He followed the mob as it carried the two corporals to nearby Roger Casement Park.‘I remember saying to myself: “This shouldn’t be happening in a civilised society”. One of them was carrying a pass which bore the name ‘Herford’.This was a place in West Germany where the British Army had a divisional HQ.

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