GB75 and Civil Assistance/Unison Group

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
During the early 1970s there seems to have been a trend of right-wing 'action groups' like David Stirling's GB75 and Walter Walker's Civil Assistance. I've come across references to them whilst researching other topics in that era, but there doesn't seem to be much information on them apart from an abbreviated Wiki entry. Even Walker's autobiography was pretty scratchy about it.

Anyone here know anything about them, or was even a member? Did they actually do anything i.e. march, demonstrate, defence training etc.? I wonder too if groups like EDL are the modern versions of GB75 and CA, formed to counter a perceived threat to society.

Really just curious about the whole era (I was a toddler then so my own memories are limited to playing with a teddy bear and watching Hawaii 5 O) and would love to hear of any info any of you have.
 
#2
#3
General Sir Walter Walker was a man of extremeprinciple. At the risk of offending Jarrod and any passing padres, he memorably declared that people "who use the main sewer of the human body as a playground" were unfit for military service...
 
#4
General Sir Walter Walker was a man of extremeprinciple. At the risk of offending Jarrod and any passing padres, he memorably declared that people "who use the main sewer of the human body as a playground" were unfit for military service...
Sewers and playgrounds were the 70s IIRC, given that as a child one could disappear off the radar for days on end prior to parents being marginally interested. A good programme showing a range of pathologcal progeny we can be proud/horrified/proud of in the space of a few seconds. Depending on the flavour of coffee.
 
#5
Just found this pdf. The chapter entitled The "Private Armies of 1974 Re-examined" has a lot on what is known about GB75, Unison etc. It seems they were pretty much contingency planning groups who would provide essential services- fire, ambulances, electricity etc, perhaps also assist the police- in case of a general strike or something similar and mostly existed only on paper.This excerpt from the end of the chapter sums it up:


http://www.8bitmode.com/rogerdog/lobster/lobster11.pdf

Wallace states that at some level, GB 75 and Civil Assistance were psychological
operations. This is certainly not hard to believe about GB 75 whose life-span was
brief, whose known membership was 1, and whose activities, as far as anyone knows,
consisted entirely of a set of memoranda which conveniently found their way to the
press. Civil Assistance, on the other hand, did seem to have members - its area coordinators
were listed in the Ashford (Kent) Council directory (68) - and it did appear
to survive for two years before packing its tents away. And Sir Walter continues to
write about it as if it were a real organisation, as does his second-in-command Colonel
Robert Butler. This may tell us nothing at all, of course. Walker may have been
conned in some way into running an organisation whose real purpose was somewhat
different from what he (Walker) believed. The role of ex-MI6 George K.Young in the
early days of Unison/ Civil Assistance, at the minimum, should suspend any final
judgements on Civil Assistance.

In a sense it matters not a jot whether or not anyone on the right actually believed that
these 'patriotic' groups were likely to go into action. Issues which were on the right's
agenda at the time - the fear of the unions; anxieties about the ability of the civil
authorities to handle major strikes (the other 'lessons of the Saltley coal depot') - were
being raised in acute form. Whether intentionally psy-ops jobs or not (and we are
inclined to think that's what they were), between the general elections of 1974, along
with the talk of coups, GB 75 and Civil Assistance were, de facto, psychological
operations.
 
#6
Just got to see Michael Cockerill's film, part of which focuses on General Sir Walter Walker.
I just wondered if there is a copy of the BBC's embargoed 1970s film, The Day in the life of a General,
somewhere out in the interwebs?
Will be getting a copy of Pocock's biography, as a result of this interesting programme.
 

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