Mistaken Identity

Is it true that during the 70's or 80's the Queens Own Hussars (QOH) were mistaken for the Queen's Own Highlanders ( QO Hldrs) both of whom were going to Ireland at the same time resulting in each unit doing their tour in the wrong place? West Belfast for QOH and somewhere quieter for the jocks?

a good story but is it true?
I joined the Regt in 1973 from JLRs. The Regt was already in Ireland at the time and I had to stag on in the rear party (it did have its good points but I won't go into that :0) ). From various discussions with other members of the rear party, the story went that the Regt recieved a signal addressed to the "QOH" warning them of for Op Banner in Belfast (possibly Andersons Town can't remember/will have to dig out a journal). The Regiment prepared and departed. At some stage, someone realised that the signal should have been addressed to the "QOHldrs" but it was all a bit to late. Having said all this, it might still have been an urban myth bandied around at the time. Logic would suggest that a Cavalry Regiment warned off for Op Banner would not train/depart/police without a myriad of other signals/correspondance/etc buzzing around beforehand. As a CO, I might have queried a location normally reserved for the Infantry. But who nows!!

The Regt went to Armagh City in 1977 (cosy little backwater) and Belfast (Andersons Town) in 1979 which kept us on our toes. My Troop was attached to the KOSBs in Fort Monagh responsible for the Turf Lodge....interesting little place!!
I think it was the 1979 tour of Belfast that I understood the story to come from. Clearly it is hard to believe that the mistake was made but even harder to believe that it was not spotted and rectified at an early stage. However!!! it is also not hard to believe that some staff officer rupert type failed to realise that "QOH" was not the Queens Own Highlanders.

Also , soldiers are soldiers and maybe when the mistake was discovered it was felt that a non infantry unit could be "trialled" in the hitherto infantry only posting of West Belfast. The fact is that QOH did serve in West Belfast in 1979 and if it transpires that they were the only RAC unit to do an Op Banner tour in West Belfast then maybe the story is true!! If however other RAC units did tours in West Belfast then I would suggest that the story is simply that, a story.

So did other RAC units do tours in West Belfast??????

I know that RAC units, certainly 4 RTR did tours in Belfast City Centre, but we are talking about West Belfast here and planned tours of West Belfast not occasional ventures into this area whilst operating from other area's.

Does anyone have the answers?
I will check my Journals (in the attic) to see exactly where the QOH served in NI in 1973. As far as 1979 is concerned, there appeared to be no rumours of a cock-up posting wise. Andersons Town came as no surpries to anyone as I'm sure the Regt had done it in 73 (subject to my attic check). I do know that when my troop was attached to the KOSBs whose TAOR was some of the more nastier areas of West Belfast, we may have been the first Cavalry Troop to foot patrol those areas (Turf Lodge, Ballymurphy, Springfield, Divis Flats, Falls Road, North Howard Street etc). I would stand corrected if others knew better.... :D
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