Op Banner photos - some memories for the old and bold

ches

LE
I can remember rural OP's 85/86 & us being given a Trilux......battered to buggery & looked old enough to have been used against the Zulus. Bloody useless thing.
 

spoolerdog

Clanker

spoolerdog

Clanker
Hi beefer

you weren't based in a wee primary school on the oldpark road about that time? was one of the poor unfortunates who attended while the evil ones next door used to lob the odd grenade or rocket or have a few pot shots, while we were sitting in class doing what primary school kids do.
 

ches

LE
Is this the lady in question?

Emma Groves - Wikipedia

There was a similar incident in Derry where a boy was blinded by a rubber bullet, the boy grew up to be a peace campaigner and was actually reconciled with the soldier who fired the bullet, he apologised and was forgiven.

Soldier and boy he blinded 40 years ago become friends
Good find. Thats her.

The fcuking wretch who did that should have been done...big time & turfed out of the army. Hope his oppos gave him some sh1t about being a cnut but somehow I don't think so.
 
Just came across a (very) old photo album. My first tour in 1974.


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Near Ardoyne, Glenbryn Avenue I think. Jock P having a crafty smoke!


View attachment 413228

Me showing off my putees.


View attachment 413229

Quick trip to S Armagh to cover for an op following the killing of two members of 16PARA Bde Vigilant Platoon on the Concession road near XMG.


View attachment 413230

Lifting for an eagle patrol from Bessbrook in a Scout.
Looks like an A41 strapped to your back.

PhotoPictureResizer_190916_135455988_crop_1080x904.jpg
 
Good find. Thats her.

The fcuking wretch who did that should have been done...big time & turfed out of the army. Hope his oppos gave him some sh1t about being a cnut but somehow I don't think so.
If that is how it happened. The Army has always maintained that there were people throwing bricks at the cordon and that is who the round was fired at.
 
Looks like an A41 strapped to your back.
Yep. Lucky me...

Hi beefer

you weren't based in a wee primary school on the oldpark road about that time? was one of the poor unfortunates who attended while the evil ones next door used to lob the odd grenade or rocket or have a few pot shots, while we were sitting in class doing what primary school kids do.
Yes, Finiston School. We lived in the old part, one platoon to each classroom. Bit strange walking through the school to man the back sangar all blacked up and a tin hat while tiny children scooted around your feet.
 
Chalk lines - that takes me back!
I relied heavily on my SUIT sight to have a good look at the next bit of road or hedgerow I was going to move my blokes on. I always paid attention to how far down on their axles cars sat for instance. In the scheme of things it's IEDs that are the biggest threat to soldiers and have been for a long time.
 
Is this the lady in question?

Emma Groves - Wikipedia

There was a similar incident in Derry where a boy was blinded by a rubber bullet, the boy grew up to be a peace campaigner and was actually reconciled with the soldier who fired the bullet, he apologised and was forgiven.

Soldier and boy he blinded 40 years ago become friends
A little tangentially I notice that Ciaran McKeown of the Peace People has recently passed away. I understand that the incident which caused them to crystalise, so to speak, was a car crash as a result of a soldier shooting a "Volunteer" driving a car on the Finaghy Road. I haven't been able to look up the circumstances yet, can anyone shed any light?
 

Mike Barton

War Hero
A little tangentially I notice that Ciaran McKeown of the Peace People has recently passed away. I understand that the incident which caused them to crystalise, so to speak, was a car crash as a result of a soldier shooting a "Volunteer" driving a car on the Finaghy Road. I haven't been able to look up the circumstances yet, can anyone shed any light?
Sorry to see that Ciaran McKeown has died, the Peace People were a good attempt and ending the Troubles, unfortunately 20 years too soon.

As far as I know McKeown had no relation to the initial incident which is described as follows in Wikipedia in the entry for Mareid Corrigan (formerly Maguire):

"Maguire became active with the Northern Ireland peace movement after three children of her sister, Anne Maguire, were run over and killed by a car driven by Danny Lennon, a Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) fugitive who had been fatally shot by British troops while trying to make a getaway. Danny Lennon had been released from prison in April 1976 after serving three years for suspected involvement in the PIRA.[16] On 10 August, Lennon and accomplice John Chillingworth were transporting an Armalite rifle through Andersonstown, Belfast, when British troops, claiming to have seen a rifle pointed at them,[17] opened fire on the vehicle, instantly killing Lennon and critically wounding Chillingworth. The car Lennon drove went out of control and mounted a pavement on Finaghy Road North, colliding with Anne Maguire and three of her children who were out shopping.[18] Joanne (8yo) and Andrew (6 weeks) died at the scene; John Maguire (2) succumbed to his injuries at a hospital the following day.[19]

Betty Williams, a resident of Andersonstown who happened to be driving by, witnessed the tragedy and accused the IRA of firing at the British patrol and provoking the incident.[20] In the days that followed she began gathering signatures for a peace petition from Protestants and Catholics and was able to assemble some 200 women to march for peace in Belfast. The march passed near the home of Mairead Maguire (then Mairead Corrigan) who joined it. She and Williams thus became "the joint leaders of a virtually spontaneous mass movement."[21]

The next march, to the burial sites of the three Maguire children, brought 10,000 Protestant and Catholic women together. The marchers, including Maguire and Williams, were physically attacked by PIRA members. By the end of the month Maguire and Williams had brought 35,000 people onto the streets of Belfast petitioning for peace between the republican and loyalist factions.[22] Initially adopting the name "Women for Peace," the movement changed its name to the gender-neutral "Community of Peace People," or simply "Peace People," when Irish Press correspondent Ciaran McKeown joined.[23]

In contrast with the prevailing climate at the time,[24] Maguire was convinced that the most effective way to end the violence was not through violence but through re-education.[25] The organization published a biweekly paper, Peace by Peace, and provided for families of prisoners a bus service to and from Belfast's jails.[26] In 1977, she and Betty Williams received the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.[8] Aged 32 at the time, she was the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate until Malala Yousafzai`s peace prize in 2014."

 

Mike Barton

War Hero
If that is how it happened. The Army has always maintained that there were people throwing bricks at the cordon and that is who the round was fired at.
And without wishing to start a flame war, in the vast majority of these disputed circumstances the Army version turned out to be the incorrect one and the witnesses in fact were telling the truth.

I know that statement will get people's backs up but unfortunately it is true.
 
It would merely have confirmed that the "war" was a sectarian protestant-versus-catholic dispute as the British would have preferred to frame it, rather than a struggle for independence from British rule that Republicans insisted it was.

Paisley, objectionable though he was to most Republicans, was not viewed as a part of the "British war machine". He was just a loudmouthed preacher and therefore not a legitimate target.

That is not to say that many protestant civilians and indeed Unionist politicians were not targeted by Republicans, of course they were, but Republicans invariably tried to dress the victims up as agents of the British state (usually very tenuous indeed but the attempt at justification was made), accidental targets or simply deny that they had carried out the attack.

Killing Paisley would have been nothing other than a sectarian attack and could not be presented in any other way, the backlash might well have been horrendous, forcing Republicans to then engage in a nakedly sectarian and possibly all-out civil war while the British sat back and said "See? We told you they're just a bunch of bigoted hillbillies fighting each other over religion".

There was no upside to killing Paisley.
The INLA tried to kill him in the 80's, as he was driven past the Markets on the way back to East Belfast, towards the Albert bridge.
 
And without wishing to start a flame war, in the vast majority of these disputed circumstances the Army version turned out to be the incorrect one and the witnesses in fact were telling the truth.

I know that statement will get people's backs up but unfortunately it is true.
I have given a like for having the cojonies to make the observation that you have. A little added analyses might help to deflect some of the understandable though somewhat biased criticsm.

Some 356 people were killed by the Army during the troubles (around 10% of all deaths). For their part the Army lost 722 men KIA and a further 719 due to indirect causes (these data are disputed in several different analyses, but are sufficiently accurate to represent the scale and intensity of the conflict).

There were just under 36,000 shooting incidents during the troubles, but many of the controversial shootings involving the Army occurred in the period 1970-72. In 1972 there were c. 10,600 shootings (almosto e third of the final total occurring in just one 12 month period). The intensity of the comflict in those days is one reason for the confusion and misinterpretation of events. The mis-direction by the Information Research Departmemt (IRD) of the FCO led Army Information Policy unit (IP) at Lisburn was another cause of obfuscation.

The IP unit was initially led by 'Jonnie' Johnston (Lt Col BR Johnston), a GSO1 who specialized in Psyops. Documents released dating from MOD sponsored CRW studies conducted in 1975 are highly critical of the Army's role in these type of activities - a role that attempted to sway public opinion by releasing information that was either skewed in favour of the SF, was of limited accuracy or in some cases, complete fabrication. When added to the manipulation of soldiers statements by RMP 'investigations" (the term is used here with a large amount of literary licence) - it is reasonable to claim that soldiers were themselves, part of the 'public opinion' that was being 'swayed'.

It is now known, and largely accepted that half of those killed by Army rounds were not involved in paramilitary action. Here again it is reasonable to accept that the precise circumstances will remain clouded by the fog of war - though this does little to assist victims families nor to alleviate the anger of soldiers who believed their actions to have been justified in the circumstances. 71-72 was a period where I had the honour of commanding a rifle section in Belfast. It was a period of great pride.....but it was also a time when on occassions I was scared shitless.....partly of shooting an innocent person, and partly of being shot by a guilty one. In all of that period there was a need to remain outwardly calm and as many on here will know, it was never a comfortable experience. I have largely gotton over it by trying to understand the other side, comsidering the lives of those unfortunate civilians who had to stay behind and live throught the conflict. There is little thanks for doing so, and hassle is always just around the corner......but I live better within myself for my 'troubles'.
 

ches

LE
I relied heavily on my SUIT sight to have a good look at the next bit of road or hedgerow I was going to move my blokes on. I always paid attention to how far down on their axles cars sat for instance. In the scheme of things it's IEDs that are the biggest threat to soldiers and have been for a long time.
Paying attention to stuff like that never goes away. I still do it & unconsciously so. After I'd left was doing civvy work on the sec circuit now & again, esp Iraq in 05 the old habits came back like a storm. Even walking the dog these days i am subconsciously looking for things that don't look right. One of the local parks where I sometime walk the pooch is in a valley & has a number of culverts under the footpath to a stream. I always get an undefinable itch in my gut when I approach them. Weird stuff.
 
Paying attention to stuff like that never goes away. I still do it & unconsciously so. After I'd left was doing civvy work on the sec circuit now & again, esp Iraq in 05 the old habits came back like a storm. Even walking the dog these days i am subconsciously looking for things that don't look right. One of the local parks where I sometime walk the pooch is in a valley & has a number of culverts under the footpath to a stream. I always get an undefinable itch in my gut when I approach them. Weird stuff.
I don't take cover when a door slams or a car backfires, but I know what you mean. I absolutely get it about culverts, if I drive or walk over one I still get a bit twitchy.
 
Paying attention to stuff like that never goes away. I still do it & unconsciously so. After I'd left was doing civvy work on the sec circuit now & again, esp Iraq in 05 the old habits came back like a storm. Even walking the dog these days i am subconsciously looking for things that don't look right. One of the local parks where I sometime walk the pooch is in a valley & has a number of culverts under the footpath to a stream. I always get an undefinable itch in my gut when I approach them. Weird stuff.
I still find myself checking windows and looking for potential threats when out walking or tabbing to and from work. Old habits and all that...

At least I no longer jump when a car backfires, or duck when a bird flies low overhead (a result of being regularly bricked while on patrol in Turf Lodge...).
 
i was on holiday in Bali with my mrs and the hotel had given us a torch to use as we walked to the restaurant further up a path that followed the line of the beach. there was moon and starlight so you could see okay but as soon as she switched the torch on i broke into a cold sweat. we ended up having a bit of a row because i was almost shouting at her to switch the torch off, she couldnt understand what the problem was and i’m ashamed to admit that I was too embarrassed to explain it to her.

its still something which if it does happen makes my skin crawl
 
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