UN Peacekeepers Medal Ceremony 23 November 2017

At a ceremony in the Defence Forces Officers’ Mess, Brigadier-General Howard Berney, General Officer Commanding 2 Brigade, presented the United Nations Peacekeepers Medal to Mrs Patricia Wickham, wife of Commandant Thomas (Tommy) P. Wickham RIP, who was killed in action on the Golan Heights at the start of the 6 Day War on 07 June 1967.

Prior to the presentation, Rev Fr Pat Mernagh CF offered a Reflection which mirrored his prayers at a military commemoration for Commandant Wickham, which took place in Camp Ziouani on the Alpha side of the 1974 Cease Fire Line.  on 07 June 2017

The presentation ceremony was attended by Mrs Wickham’s sons Lieutenant-Colonel Brian Wickham (Retd) and Alan, her daughter Denise, her son-in-law Colonel Ray Quinn (Retd) and their respective spouses and partners.

The Director of Artillery Colonel Brian Cleary, Director of Training Colonel Ray Yorke and  President of the Artillery Club Brigadier-General Paul Pakenham were in attendance.

At the time of his death, Commandant Wickham was deployed to the Golan Heights as an unarmed United Nations Military Observer.  Tragically, he was shot and killed by a Syrian soldier, while trying to relieve United Nations observer positions on 07 June, 1967.  The action occurred at a Syrian checkpoint at the old Roman bridge near the village of Ar Rafid on the Golan Heights in the vicinity of Quineitra, just one day after the start of “The 6 Day War”.

A member of the 14th Cadet Class, Commandant Wickham was commissioned in 1941 and appointed to the Artillery Corps.  A proud and dedicated gunner, he served in the Artillery School Magee Barracks, Kildare, and the 2 Field Artillery Regiment, McKee Barracks Dublin.

Commandant Wickham also served as an Instructor in the Command and Staff School, The Military College. In addition to his service with UNTSO, Commandant Wickham served as Operations Officer with the 38 Infantry Battalion in the Congo from November 1962 to April 1963.

For additional information, see Newsletter 2/2017 on the Club’s website.