Roger  Claymore

Roger Claymore

United Kingdom
About: Disaster Responder - Firefighter
Bio: Roger Claymore was working as the Communications Liaison Officer with Dumfries and Galloway Fire Brigade at the time of the attack. His primary job was to ensure clear and accurate communication was being relayed between various departments within the service. He was then also tasked with providing information to the local and international media, including the distribution of photographs. Roger is passionate about ensuring the terrorist attack is never forgotten.

    Fire Brigade Communications Liaison Officer Remains Calm in "War Zone," Takes Harrowing Photos Documenting Attack

    The day of the attack

    12/21/1988

    Roger Claymore was working as the Communications Liaison Officer with Dumfries and Galloway Fire Brigade at the time of the attack. His primary job was to ensure clear and accurate communication was being relayed between various departments within the service. He was then also tasked with providing information to the local and international media, including the distribution of photographs. 

    Roger begins his story on the evening of December 21st 1988, when he was tasked with working as Staff Officer to the Fire Master.

     

    One of the first places Roger with his Fire Master was Sherwood Crescent- where the wings of the plane had crashed, obliterating several houses and resulting in a huge crater forming. Roger describes the scene he witnessed on arrival at the impact site. 

     

    As general lines of communications had been wiped out in the immediate aftermath of the attack, the emergency services had to establish their own temporary methods of communication.

    As the events of the night unfolded, it became clear that there was a huge loss of life. We asked Roger how he managed to remain calm and focused, whilst processing all that was going on around him:

    Roger and his Fire Master made their way around the impact sites throughout the night. In the early hours of the morning, they drove three miles east of Lockerbie to Tundergarth, where the nosecone of the plane had crashed into the field adjacent to the church.

    The days following the attack

    12/22/1988

    As the sun began to rise on December 22nd, Roger joined other emergency service representatives in the local school. He was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of workers from the fire service, police, armed forces and ambulance services. 

    Roger also describes what his mother and father witnessed on the night of the bombing.

    As information filtered through about the number of people killed, and some of their names, Roger found out that a couple of his close friends were victims. 

    Roger recalls how well organised the brigade’s response was, and the support provided by his fellow firefighters and fire brigade teams throughout the country.

     

    In the weeks following the attack, Roger was in charge of publicity for the fire brigade. He was tasked with gathering photographs to be both collated and distributed internally and externally.

    There was widespread condemnation about the behaviour of some of the media presence in Lockerbie in the aftermath of the attack. Roger recalls his mother’s interaction with the media, and some of the recollections that horrified her.

    Long-term effects of the attack

    4/4/1989

    Many people who were directly involved with the recovery efforts have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the weeks, months and years following the attack.

    Roger explains how he and his fellow fire brigade colleagues coped, and why he has spoken openly over the years about his involvement.

    Efforts to memorialize the victims

    1/1/2024

    Roger feels it’s the right time to create a permanent museum in Lockerbie, in order to tell the full story of the attack and teach future generations about what happened, why it happened and the impact it had on the town and townspeople. 

     

    Every year on December 21st, Roger takes time to remember and reflect. He recalls his own involvement and some of the positives he feels has come as a result of the attack.

    Roger also expresses his wish for more to be done in terms of remembering those killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

    A photo is worth a thousand words

    6/6/2024

    Roger has collated a series of photographs from the night of the attack, and the aftermath. He talks us through some of the scenes captured within his book. 

    Please note- this next clip of Roger’s book contains a collection of images and descriptions that some younger viewers/readers may find distressing.

    Roger then shared with us some images from a special report book he helped to create with his Fire Master. Roger would like to donate his books as artefacts to be entered into the new museum being planned at Tundergarth. 

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