Reaction Weekend

Terrorism, Malki Roth’s murder and questions to answer for the BBC’s Arabic service

BY Chris Blackhurst | tweet c_blackhurst   /  6 February 2021

A school friend, Philip Geddes, was killed in the IRA bombing of Harrods in 1983.

We grew up in Barrow-in-Furness, in Cumbria, and were pupils at the local grammar school. He was the year above and I still have books on my shelves that he passed down to me. My grandmother ran the hat shop, and his father, Michael, was the tailor. They knew each other well – they would supply outfits for the same events and weddings. Philip was an only child.

After he died – it turned out that Philip, a young journalist, was living round the corner from me in Stockwell, South London. But London being what it is, neither of us knew – my grannie said Michael’s heart was broken. He died soon after.

I’ve never forgotten Philip or his dad’s agony. On my old school Facebook page, tributes to Philip resurfaced again recently as the anniversary of the blast that killed three police officers, three members of the public and injured 90, came and went. They were still fresh in my mind when I was talking to Arnold Roth.


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