Mother looks to leave a lasting memory of her son

A mother is looking to leave a lasting memorial to her son who was killed by the IRA 30 years ago.

Thursday, 30th June 2016, 10:30 am
Updated Thursday, 30th June 2016, 11:32 am
Catherine Bertram is looking to raise £1,400 to buy a memorial bench for her son Mitchell who was killed by the IRA. Picture by Jane Coltman

Catherine Bertram is aiming to create a tribute to her son Mitchell and a memorial seat erected in Cramlington in his honour.

Mitchell was just 20 years old when he was killed by a roadside bomb in Northern Ireland on July 9, 1986, while serving with the Royal Anglian Regiment.

Mitchell, who died on the day he was due to return home, had been checking an abandoned trailer in Crossmaglen when the bomb was triggered by the IRA.

Now Catherine is looking to raise £1,400 to purchase a memorial bench and has set up an online fund.

She said: “I’m getting older so it would be nice to have something to remember him.

“It’s a long time since we lost him and I think this would be a fitting tribute.

“It would be nice to have something there for people to remember him. It took ten years to get his name on the town’s war memorial.”

Catherine added: “Mitchell was a big loss. We just think what could have been. He was a lovely lad.

“When he was killed, I got lots and lots of letters, even from his junior school teachers and I’m still in contact with a lot of his friends from his regiment.

“On his birthday and anniversary of his death, I get lots of letters and cards. They are like a second family.”

To donate to Catherine’s appeal visit

Mitchell is also remembered among almost 16,000 members of the armed forces listed on a National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

A BBC documentary was made during the time of building this first national monument dedicated to those killed through terrorist action.

And it featured Catherine among five families who had lost loved ones.