Soldier's family on sad pilgrimage

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The parents of a young soldier shot dead by the IRA in Northern Ireland yesterday made a painful pilgrimage to the spot where he died.

John and Rita Restorick fought back tears as they laid flowers by the checkpoint outside the military base at Bessbrook in South Armagh where their son, Stephen, was murdered last month. Clutching each other's hands tightly, they placed their floral tribute among dozens of others left by local people.

They were accompanied on their journey from Peterborough by their other son, Mark, 26, and eight uncles, aunts and cousins.

Lance Bombardier Restorick, 23, of the 3rd Battalion Royal Horse Artillery was killed by a single shot fired at long range by a hidden sniper as he manned the checkpoint.

The Restoricks were escorted by their son's commanding officer, Lt Col Matthew Sykes, and Battery Commander Major Mark Vincent.

Afterwards, inside the heavily-fortified base, they attended a service to dedicate a marble memorial to Stephen.