Op Banner photos - some memories for the old and bold

Helm

MIA
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It was just inside the main gates near to where the Bde Hq was sited, from when it was HMS Sea Eagle. Picture and details here:
HMS Sybille : Figureheads

As my M-in-L had served there during WW2 we had some interesting discussions!

Even more interesting was seeing US Navy shore patrols going around the Waterside bars when we were patrolling in flak jackets and tooled up. Their patrols were in white helmets, spats and billy stick rig
That's the bunny although I would have sworn it was more inside near our accommodation this would be 81-83 time
 
My understanding is that it was absolutely policy to remove the guns from the Centurions (I believe there were two deployed) and cover up the rest with tarpaulin as well as turning the turret to the rear in order not to have "Tanks on the Streets" headlines.

The Centurions were used to clear the initial barricades (it was feared they might be booby trapped) and were then got offside PDQ to prevent too many photos being taken. It must be remembered this was only four years after Soviet tanks rolled into Prague, which the British government had loudly condemned. The last thing the UK government wanted was the Eastern Bloc and Non-Aligned nations pointing to the sight of fully mounted tanks rolling through a city in the United Kingdom in order to suppress a "popular uprising" and questioning Britain's own moral standing.

As has been pointed out Motorman was fully publicised in advance to avoid a major confrontation. Mind you it would have been hard to hide HMS Fearless as she sailed out the mist the evening before. The whole coast of Lough Foyle from Greencastle to Culmore was lined with onlookers as she sailed up.

Two youths, one a schoolboy, were killed in Motorman but remarkably at the time this was passed off as a quiet night. The families of the two young men campaigned for years to have their names cleared, as the Army claimed they were terrorists, and if I am not wrong the MoD has since conceded they were innocent victims.

ETA: I am mistaken, only young Hegarty was an innocent victim, Seamus Bradley was PIRA.
 
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I don't know about the old Ft George, but we used giant wriggle tin type nissan huts which we were told were from WW2. Also based there was RUC Shantallow, which was, if I remember correctly, a more modern building.
Wasn't there also some huge orange/beige tent-like structure that could be seen from halfway across the town?
 
149 pages not trawled though

Any Bangor photos {eg Main Street or Stangford Arms pub bombings)?

Or Castlewellan where I climbed on a Fox/Pig?
 
It was just inside the main gates near to where the Bde Hq was sited, from when it was HMS Sea Eagle. Picture and details here:
HMS Sybille : Figureheads

As my M-in-L had served there during WW2 we had some interesting discussions!

Even more interesting was seeing US Navy shore patrols going around the Waterside bars when we were patrolling in flak jackets and tooled up. Their patrols were in white helmets, spats and billy stick rig
Bde HQ, was also known AS XMHQ. Ex Maritime Headquarters.
 
My understanding is that it was absolutely policy to remove the guns from the Centurions (I believe there were two deployed) and cover up the rest with tarpaulin as well as turning the turret to the rear in order not to have "Tanks on the Streets" headlines.

The Centurions were used to clear the initial barricades (it was feared they might be booby trapped) and were then got offside PDQ to prevent too many photos being taken. It must be remembered this was only four years after Soviet tanks rolled into Prague, which the British government had loudly condemned. The last thing the UK government wanted was the Eastern Bloc and Non-Aligned nations pointing to the sight of fully mounted tanks rolling through a city in the United Kingdom in order to suppress a "popular uprising" and questioning Britain's own moral standing.

As has been pointed out Motorman was fully publicised in advance to avoid a major confrontation. Mind you it would have been hard to hide HMS Fearless as she sailed out the mist the evening before. The whole coast of Lough Foyle from Greencastle to Culmore was lined with onlookers as she sailed up.

Two youths, one a schoolboy, were killed in Motorman but remarkably at the time this was passed off as a quiet night. The families of the two young men campaigned for years to have their names cleared, as the Army claimed they were terrorists, and if I am not wrong the MoD has since conceded they were innocent victims.

ETA: I am mistaken, only young Hegarty was an innocent victim, Seamus Bradley was PIRA.
Even if it was publicised a few hours before how did they manage to get a effin great AVRE through Londonderry let alone up to the Cregan .
I guess Rosemount RUC station would have been utilised as comand & control center.
 
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British troops? I don't fecking think so!
I'd put money on them being UDR. In the very early days of it's existence they were a pretty rag-tag and bobtail bunch, ex- B Specials and former soldiers in the main, the FFD on the belt with Black Nasty and the cap-comforters are a dead giveaway I reckon. There/s also what appear to be boot-polished 37 Pattern belts and the chap in the background on the left is wearing a flak-jacket and Puttees!
 

AlienFTM

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Depended on which bit of border, and when - and mebbe how old you were.

Co Armagh (the chunk that included Newtownhamilton, Keady, Middletown and Bn HQ in Armagh City) was a good tour, in 1976, when I was a young newly promoted Spitoon Banana.

15 years later, as a Coy Comd, I found working the countryside around XMG and Bessbrook was a feck'n' grind, and I don't mind admitting it.

I may already have mentioned some of the lowlights of that tour on this thread . . . .
According to the post Op Banner report linked on here many, many years ago, 53% of the border was in the hands of the Armoured Car Regiment out of Omagh.

To think, they gave me a medal for that.
 

Auld-Yin

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I'd put money on them being UDR. In the very early days of it's existence they were a pretty rag-tag and bobtail bunch, ex- B Specials and former soldiers in the main, the FFD on the belt with Black Nasty and the cap-comforters are a dead giveaway I reckon. There/s also what appear to be boot-polished 37 Pattern belts and the chap in the background on the left is wearing a flak-jacket and Puttees!
I doubt it very much and still feel this is the IRA playing at soldiers, as was their wont!
 
My understanding is that it was absolutely policy to remove the guns from the Centurions (I believe there were two deployed) and cover up the rest with tarpaulin as well as turning the turret to the rear in order not to have "Tanks on the Streets" headlines.
Not quite, their "guns", actually the L9 165mm Demolition Gun, weren't removed at all, just covered with a tarpaulin and the turrets reversed. The weapon had a much shorter barrel than a normal 105mm tank-gun so it was easily concealed but you're right about the sensitivity involved in any suggestion of there being tanks on British streets, this was only four years after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia remember!

Two youths, one a schoolboy, were killed in Motorman but remarkably at the time this was passed off as a quiet night. The families of the two young men campaigned for years to have their names cleared, as the Army claimed they were terrorists, and if I am not wrong the MoD has since conceded they were innocent victims.

ETA: I am mistaken, only young Hegarty was an innocent victim, Seamus Bradley was PIRA.
Unfortunately whether Bradley was PIRA or not it doesn't appear that there was any obvious reason why they should have been shot dead, and I believe there is a former Royal Scot who is now sweating under a murder charge as a result.
I seem to recall that there was another guy killed in fact, a gunman who concealed himself in a tree and took a few shots at an Army patrol before being shot and killed, with a GPMG I think?
 
I doubt it very much and still feel this is the IRA playing at soldiers, as was their wont!
I refuse to believe that any IRA man would have the time, patience and inclination, not to mention the skill, to wrap itchy rags around his ankles before going out on a job, and Is that not a Ferret in the distance behind the VCP?
 
I'd put money on them being UDR. In the very early days of it's existence they were a pretty rag-tag and bobtail bunch, ex- B Specials and former soldiers in the main, the FFD on the belt with Black Nasty and the cap-comforters are a dead giveaway I reckon. There/s also what appear to be boot-polished 37 Pattern belts and the chap in the background on the left is wearing a flak-jacket and Puttees!
I doubt it very much and still feel this is the IRA playing at soldiers, as was their wont!
Is that a Ferret in the far distance?
 
According to the post Op Banner report linked on here many, many years ago, 53% of the border was in the hands of the Armoured Car Regiment out of Omagh.

To think, they gave me a medal for that.
There were Cav tps covering the stretch I mentioned earlier, until 1976 (same year SAS were formally deployed to NI?), when things started to get a bit tasty in those parts. We relieved a company of RM based at Middletown, they having replaced the cav earlier in the year.
 

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