A lovely tribute to a thoroughly decent and loyal man murdered by the vile and cowardly ira.
Twenty years ago today, a fine man was foully murdered. Ian Gow had been one of Margaret Thatcher's close associates. No one on the UK mainland had been more resolute in defending the cause of Ulster Unionism. So he attracted the IRA's enmity. Even if not actually in uniform, he fell in battle against terrorism: a battle in which he had been a proud combatant.
His death had a terrible irony. A few weeks earlier, he had held a small drinks party. The conversation turned to the hardships suffered by MPs' wives, so often stuck at home in the constituency, cut off from the glamorous aspects of parliamentary life. Ian paid tribute to his beloved Jane, who never complained about being a grass-widow. He referred to her as "my poor widow" and "the Widow Gow". Then Ulster was mentioned. "Ian, old lad," said Jonathan Aitken, "I hope you vary your route to the Commons and check under your car." "Certainly not," Ian replied. "I am at less risk than any serving officer in Her Majesty's Royal Ulster Constabulary – and anyway, I wouldn't know what to look for."
On July 30, there was a bomb under his car. Ian was killed. Jane was widowed.