Communities come together to mark Lockerbie bombing 35 years on

  • Watch Barnaby Papadopulos' report

A memorial service marking 35 years since the Lockerbie bombing has paid tribute to the victims who died in the deadliest terrorist attack in UK history.270 people were killed when PanAm Flight 103 exploded in the sky over Lockerbie on the evening of 21 December 1988.

Commemorations across Dumfries and Galloway have remembered those who lost their lives and paid tribute to the courage of the local community.

Floral tributes were laid for the 270 victims who died in the deadliest terrorist attack in UK history. Credit: PA

The fatalities included 259 passengers and crew on the New York bound flight, along with 11 Lockerbie residents.

The disaster left a lasting impact and created unexpected ties between southern Scotland and the US.

Since 1990 the University of Syracuse in Florida has offered scholarships to two students from Lockerbie to commemorate the lives of their 35 students who were among the passengers on the flight.

University of Syracuse scholars Tristan Woolley and Joshua Halliday from Lockerbie attended the memorial event. Credit: ITV Border

Speaking to ITV Border, Joshua Halliday, Syracuse Scholar, said: "Growing up in Lockerbie I've always been very attached to this event but today especially, being the Lockerbie-Syracuse Scholar it feels like I'm a lot more connected to it on a personal and emotional level.

"Being from the town my family and friends were very affected by it, but now I take it from a different perspective because through the scholarship I've met a lot of families and friends from other places who have been affected."

The 35th anniversary comes as a new date was announced for the trial of Abu Agila Mas’ud, the Libyan man accused of acting with others in the attack on the aircraft.

The court in Washington DC has now fixed a date of 12 May 2025.

Memorials have remembered those who lost their lives while ceremonies paid tribute to the courage of the local community. Credit: ITV Border

On the upcoming trial, Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC, said: “I welcome this development and am encouraged with the progress in the court process.“Scottish and US authorities have worked together since 1988 to bring those responsible for this atrocity to justice.

"That work continues as a dedicated team of Scottish prosecutors and officers from Police Scotland support the US Department of Justice and the FBI in this prosecution.”

The first trial of two people charged with the bombing unfolded in 2000, more than 11 years after the destruction of Pan Am Flight 103.

The crime scene covered 845 square miles, including rural Tundergarth, where wreaths were laid outside Tundergarth Church – which sits opposite the field where the nose cone of the plane fell to the ground.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...