Op Banner photos - some memories for the old and bold

#1
Just found this interesting collection of photos from the early days of Op Banner - don't know if it has been mentioned before on Arrse. Quite surprised to see my old cap badge in many of the pictures, although I don't recognise any of the faces.

Photos of the British Army in Northern Ireland – 1969-1979 |






I particularly liked this photo, a reminder that despite the circumstances it wasn't always bombings, murder and wet weather :)



Mind you, didn't we all look young back then? :D
 
#2
Cheers buddy, good link.

I grew up watching the 'troubles' on the TV and it is still a very intriguing subject for me.

I remember being a young lad and just getting my head around things, like you do, and watching the weather update on the box one day and was shocked to see Belfast was so close!

I thought it can't be that close, I mean there is actually a war on there?

By the time I was old enough to join up the focus had changed to the Middle East and all that shenanigans, but it still arouses my interest when I see pictures of blokes taking a knee on high streets in NI and scanning through their SUSATs etc
 
#3
Not until you see pictures like that you realise just how bad it was out there. Also the uniformity of lightweight trousers, smock, belt with pouches on was a thing of beauty, nobody trying to out Ally* each other by repeated visits to HM Supplies**, if the riot picture was taken today we would have 15 different MTP shades there with 15 different sets of webbing.

* Yes I am aware Allyness saves lives.
** Other Tat suppliers available.
 
#4
Pic #2, is that shirt collar on outside of flak jacket? Nice.

I can highly recommend the photo book Magnum Ireland
Magnum Photos

Also the Paul Greengrass film bloody sunday seems to capture the look/feel well (not having been there myself, so others can judge)

(and includes a performance by Simon Mann before he tried to take over Equatorial Guinea, silly boy)
 
#5
Excellent photos on the link. I'd take exception to the caption towards the end regarding Captain Robert Nairac being "executed". I prefer the word "murdered".
 
#6
Excellent photos on the link. I'd take exception to the caption towards the end regarding Captain Robert Nairac being "executed". I prefer the word "murdered".
It does sound like the caption is copy/pasted from an unsympathetic source.
 

Auld-Yin

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#7
PA-10462311-1024x665.jpg


British troops search the handbags of Ulster women on the outskirts of the Northern Ireland town of Newry on Feb. 6, 1972, the day scheduled for a massive demonstration by the Pro-Catholic Civil Rights movement, to protest over the shooting of 13 civilians in Londonderry
British troops? I don't fecking think so!
 
#8
Excellent photos on the link. I'd take exception to the caption towards the end regarding Captain Robert Nairac being "executed". I prefer the word "murdered".
The caption at the top of the page is a bit 'biased' too. I also object to the Niarac caption about the provo batt, I refuse to give the twats that nomenclature as a form of legitimacy.
 

Auld-Yin

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#10
Yeah, that looks to me like a loyalist paramil type of shenanagins although aren't those chaps in DPM in the distance?
Quite possibly. 'VCPs' were often set up, by both sides, close to British army ones, just to show the population who was "really in charge".
 
#12
I remember being a young lad and just getting my head around things, like you do, and watching the weather update on the box one day and was shocked to see Belfast was so close!

I thought it can't be that close, I mean there is actually a war on there?
In 77 I left Fort Monagh in west Belfast on R&R at 0700. By 1100 I was back home in London and in my local pub with a pint in my hand. Three days later I left to go back and arrive back in Fort Monagh four hours after leaving home. Strange days indeed.
 
#13
I used to have a complete set of David Barzilay's "British Army In Ulster" that was published each year during the Seventies. Contained most of the photos above, plus was a useful source of reference in the early days. Unfortunately the set went walkies from my MFO Box when I was posted to Cyprus in 1986.

Anyone still got their copies?
 
#14
I can highly recommend the photo book Magnum Ireland
Magnum Photos
Good link...found this picture:



I'm sure the coloured chap on the left was one of my instructors during basic training. :)

This is still the most evocative image for me. It sums up the place perfectly for me:

 
#15
Good link...found this picture:



I'm sure the coloured chap on the left was one of my instructors during basic training. :)

This is still the most evocative image for me. It sums up the place perfectly for me:

Yup, for me too. I did two tours in the hell hole 72/73 and 73/74 first in Derry (Fort George) and second in Belfast ( North Queen street RUC station next to the New Lodge). We had a baton round range in fort George that faced the ship docked there, on range practice no one was allowed to be up on deck of the ship as those rounds were very unpredictable and could bounce anywhere.
 
#16
In 77 I left Fort Monagh in west Belfast on R&R at 0700. By 1100 I was back home in London and in my local pub with a pint in my hand. Three days later I left to go back and arrive back in Fort Monagh four hours after leaving home. Strange days indeed.
This. I lived in north west so on a Friday if i could actually get my shit in one sock & grab a flight to Mcr or Liverpool about 6ish & be in my fav trapping gear with a pint in a cracking nightclub I used to frequent in Warrington town centre when its doors opened at 9pm. Surreal at times, esp if the week had been a bit lively.
 
#19
I used to have a complete set of David Barzilay's "British Army In Ulster" that was published each year during the Seventies. Contained most of the photos above, plus was a useful source of reference in the early days. Unfortunately the set went walkies from my MFO Box when I was posted to Cyprus in 1986.

Anyone still got their copies?
I had volumes 1, 2 and 3. IIRC they weren't actually published each year, but were 2-3 years apart.

As you say, they were a very good source of reference with many excellent photos.
 
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