January 28th, 2015

British colonel who was commanding officer during Bloody Sunday shot and killed in Kenya

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
A mural in the Bogside area of Londonderry close to where the Bloody Sunday killings took place
A mural in the Bogside area of Londonderry close to where the Bloody Sunday killings took place

A retired British army colonel who was a commanding officer during Bloody Sunday has been shot and killed in Kenya.

Colonel Edward “Ted” Loden (73) was on holidays with his wife in Nairobi when he was attacked at his son's home on Saturday night.

The retired colonel was gunned down during a botched robbery by an armed gang as he and his family returned home to his son's compound, Kenyan police have said. 

"As the guard let the car inside and began to close the gates behind it, the robbers came in," said a Kenyan police spokesman last night.

"They ran to the car, and there was some sort of argument, and they shot through the windscreen, and this elderly man was the one who was hit.

"We think this is a robbery, because the attackers stole only a necklace and an ATM card."

His son Jamie, wife Jill and daughter-in-law were understood to be in the car with him at the time but nobody else was injured. 

Edward Loden had been commanding officer on the day British troops shot and killed 13 civil-rights marchers in Derry on January 30, 1972. Thirteen people were killed on the day with another passing away some months later due to injuries received. 

A total of 26 people were wounded on Bloody Sunday as British troops fired over 100 rounds into the crowd of protestors but the Saville Report that investigated the incident found Loden innocent of any wrongdoing: "At the time the casualties were being sustained, Major Loden neither realised nor should he have realised that his soldiers were or might be firing at people who were not posing or about to pose a threat."

Witnesses to the horrific incident described how many of the victims had been shot while running away from paratroopers on the day in question. 

The tragic day of violence in Derry in 1972 remains seared onto the minds of the Irish public as those killed bore no arms and could not be said to have been a violent threat. 

The findings of the Saville Report were made public in 2010 and contained information that the killings were "unjustified and unjustifiable." 

The publication of the report forced Prime Minister David Cameron to make a formal apology to the victims and their families on behalf of the United Kingdom. 

Born in 1940, Loden was commissioned into the Parachute Regiment in 1959 where he served on operations around the world.

He retired from the Army in 1992 and followed a career in business management, before retiring in 1999 to pursue his passion for sailing.

A family statement read: "Edward, married to Jill, father of Jamie and Will, was a devoted family man and proud grandfather of Oliver, Amelia, Joshua, Harry and Emily.

"Jill and her sons would like to say thank you to all the overwhelming messages of love and support from wider friends and family, and request that the family be given time to come to terms with this brutal tragedy."