British Army in Ulster - WRAC

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by jack-daniels, Apr 5, 2008.

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  1. Someone left a couple of books in work (The British Army in Ulster) which I hadn't seen in donkeys, they were published in 1973 and are very good reading as you seem to forget just how bad it was over there in the early days.

    However, the best thingS in it are the chapter about the esteemed Women's Royal Army Corps. I think if the author wrote it today he would have a fatwa issued on his head from every militant female group about.

    I quote some of the more illuminating paragraphs:

    ''The girls make sure that food is prepared quickly and well, they relay messages and operate telex machines with startling speed and they get through mounds of paper work''.

    Obviously they were multi-tasking long before the phrase was in common usage!

    At the bop:

    ''The girls, of course, have become very popular with the soldiers operating throughout the Province because when they run dances and discos they are able to invite girls who area ''on the same side,'' and are not going to try and bring in incendiaries or bombs. Because of this the girls have been in great demand by the troops to go out to social evenings organised by different regiments''

    So I assume the author is referring that the girls of the WRAC are akin to the Mobile Bath and Laundry Unit in that they are a Mobile Brothel.

    One such party had the troops splashing on the Old Spice and Brut like it was going out of fashion:

    ''The CO of the Welsh Guards was making his routine inspection a short while after the girls arrived and could not understand the extraordinary smll which was penetrating the building. It turned out to be a vast conglomeration of after-shave which had put on for the girls arrival''

    But amongst all the jolly frivolty in those early days, one member of the WRAC gets a special mention:

    ''Corporal Margaret Riley was trapped in a house in one of the difficult areas of Belfast. A crowd surrounded the doorway of the house and she broke out her truncheon, which for a 19 year old girls was quite and achievement. She later received the GOC's commendation and was invited to the Woman of the Years Luncheon''

    Margaret, where are you now? Can you still handle a truncheon?

    How times have changed eh? These books are a quality read if you can get hold of them.

    Three cheers for the WRAC!!
  2. Interesting stuff. I remember reading about the UDR and the integration of females into the regiment. Green finches i think they were called. Are these the same lovely ladies?
  3. Probably, they could be big fat parrotts and I wouldn't care! We're talking big black leather FMB's and peaked caps!
  4. Ahhhhhhh the long black FMBs for use with the wee lovat green skirt! And that hat they wore - points out of two, I'd give em all one! Mind you some would require booze, lots and lots of booze!
  5. Like female bottom inspectors..nice...
  6. Still got mine, Like the girls in the legionaires "field brothels" they worked "extremely hard"
  7. You're not Margaret are you?!!
  8. Sounds like a max mosley private party :twisted:
  9. Nah the Greenfinches were actually UDR, so known by their green Hackle. The bints in the "British Army in Ulster" we're full blown WRACs of the 70s era. Didn't join until 79 so can't say too much from experience but glad they helped raise the troops morale, pity the situation isn't the same today.
    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
  10. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    I don't :wink:
  11. The set of books by Barzilay was published (or the later ones were) quite a bit after 1973. There's a number of my photographs in there, together with others by my coevals from 75/76/77 in L'Derry and the 8 Bde TAOR.
  12. We've got Vols 1 and 2 here. You in any of them?
  13. Not my face! I attended the scenes of many an incident in N, O and P Divs during those years, and kept behind the camera. I don't actually have the books, but I think it's Vol 2 which covers that period. None of my photographs, or those of the other guys in my section, were credited - I still don't know how the author got them.