William Johnston Beacom



17 February 1994









Royal Ulster Constabulary



Homicide - Bomb

Duty Status


On Duty

Roll of Honour Citation

Fatally injured by terrorists who fired a horizontal rocket at the RUC Land Rover he was driving.

The attack occurred at 3pm when members of the Neighbourhood Policing Unit were on mobile patrol driving along Friendly Street in the Markets district of Belfast.


Terrorists used a warhead that was fired from a homemade rocket launcher into an RUC Land Rover. The device struck the driver’s door and exploded killing Constable Beacom and injuring 2 other police officers.


A man who had been delivering leaflets for a nearby church said he heard the explosion and saw the policemen climbing out of the Land Rover.


He said: “they were really shocked. They were frightened and shocked and I assured them that I was there to help them and I got into the Land Rover and I held the policeman. I asked his colleague what was his name. He told me it was Johnston and I kept pleading with him to “hold on Johnston, hold on, and hold on, Jesus loves you”. I got in behind him and I held his head and I held his arms and his hands and I held them around him and that’s the only consolation I could give him: to talk and call the name of Jesus to him. That’s the only thing I could do for him. He wasn’t able to say anything. He died before the ambulance came”.


Survived by his wife and their 3 children.