Op Banner photos - some memories for the old and bold

We (1st Bn The Royal Anglian Rgt) also had our capbage (the transfare type) on our 'Turtle Helmets' 1970-72
They were still on some of the lids dished out and in use in Derry in 73/74.
 
Did you get ITN in Ireland? We certainly didn't get RTE or Ulster TV in Cornwall, to be honest for the first ten years we lived there we were lucky to get a signal and didnt have a colour TV till 76. There was plenty of domestic problems to keep us busy, The evening news unless it was a spectacular would comment only if a soldier was killed and then often at the end of the main headlines.
During my first tour my family went spare (as I imagine many did) when the BBC announced a death on the day election results were announced. They saw me on the cordon and relaxed a little. It rarely made headlines, political wranglings in the province? I doubt many in the province were that up to speed, it certainly only made headlines if additional troops were sent in because of the UWC strikes or internment!
Like it or not we had life to get on with and all the time the troubles stayed away from us we stayed away from the troubles!
I certainly remember regular news reports/clips of Northern Ireland on the TV in the later 70's and on. A soldier killed, a suspected IRA member killed, people killed and injured by bombs. To the average viewer NI looked at a place that was constantly being bombed, shoot outs between Army and terrorists and always riots, lots of riots.

I think most people just weren't that interested in learing about it though, it was too complicated. Indifference was the order of the day (unless they were related to people there or serving there).

To be fair that's partly why the IRA took their campaign to the UK mainland wasn't it, to get more attention and reaction from Joe public in England.
 
In 1988 (I believe the OP stated 1988)? I was based there in 1991 and there wasn't a trace or tale of anything like it.
Interesting thread this one. I grew up watching incidents in NI on the news and I remember being on holdiay with my parents in S Ireland and we took a drive up North for a day, it was quite something for a 12yo lad suddenly seeing soldiers patrolling the streets with their rifles and I remember us driivng behind a Landy fully of soldiers who waved and smiled at us. I felt like I'd been in a war zone for the day.

Anyone joining the Army during the troubles knew they'd end up there on duty at some point. I'm genuinely interested in what those who did thought about it - was it something you joined up looking forward to doing - seeing some 'action' - or was it dreaded?

What about the first time on tour, first patrol out of base and walking the streets - how the hell did that feel?

As an aside I've been to Belfast a couple of times in recent years on business and a rugby trip. It's somewhere I want to visit again, a friendly vibrant city, although I can totally understand the lack of interest for those who served there in darker days!
 
. To the average viewer NI looked at a place that was constantly being bombed, shoot outs between Army and terrorists and always riots, lots of riots.
Meh.

Check the casualty stats

'Shootouts' were a feature of the period prior to the 1974 ceasefire - the 'RA overall got very much the worst of it, and the attrition (unsurprisingly) dimmed their enthusiasm.

Likewise, bombings - a commonplace prior to 1974 - grew much less frequent, but (not least after Saint Gerry was released from The Kesh to deniably reforge the near defunct IRA into a Provisional IRA, with a cellular structure, a Socialist revolutionary agenda and a bomber's university at The Kesh) they also became more sophisticated, and the bombs much, much bigger.

I could go on, but in short - you're misremembering :-D
 
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I'm talking about the typical apathetic person's view of the NI problem. As I said, I think the vast majority of people just weren't at all interested.
 
was it something you joined up looking forward to doing - seeing some 'action' - or was it dreaded?
In my case the former at age 20. Novelty had worn off quite a bit by the time I was 30 :-D

On t'other hand, when (aged 20, and having done W Belfast straight from RMAS) I was on my Platoon Commander course, I distinctly recall one young Picadilly Highlander student looking absolutely ashen with dread when he got the news from his Adjutant that he was off to South Armagh after the course :-D

Not quite sure what he was looking for in his short service commission, but I never encountered that kind of reaction ever again.
 
Interesting thread this one. I grew up watching incidents in NI on the news and I remember being on holdiay with my parents in S Ireland and we took a drive up North for a day, it was quite something for a 12yo lad suddenly seeing soldiers patrolling the streets with their rifles and I remember us driivng behind a Landy fully of soldiers who waved and smiled at us. I felt like I'd been in a war zone for the day.

Anyone joining the Army during the troubles knew they'd end up there on duty at some point. I'm genuinely interested in what those who did thought about it - was it something you joined up looking forward to doing - seeing some 'action' - or was it dreaded?

What about the first time on tour, first patrol out of base and walking the streets - how the hell did that feel?

As an aside I've been to Belfast a couple of times in recent years on business and a rugby trip. It's somewhere I want to visit again, a friendly vibrant city, although I can totally understand the lack of interest for those who served there in darker days!
I too saw the same scenes as you as a kid and the prospect of being able to serve in Northern Ireland is what inspired me to join.

Fortunately I spent 6 years of my life based in Northern Ireland in Belfast, Londonderry, Omagh and Enniskillen in both Overt and Covert roles.

I loved it so much. Plenty of excitement and scraps.
 
Nope

This:
I'm talking about the typical apathetic person's view of the NI problem. As I said, I think the vast majority of people just weren't at all interested.
Doesn't square with this:
I remember regular news reports/clips of Northern Ireland on the TV in the later 70's and on. A soldier killed, a suspected IRA member killed, people killed and injured by bombs
Make up your mind, and stop making up 'memories' and 'facts'

Thanks.
 
I'm talking about the typical apathetic person's view of the NI problem. As I said, I think the vast majority of people just weren't at all interested.
You're right,most people didn't give a monkey's chuff unless they were affected in some way.
When I joined I knew I would go to NI,and accepted it as part of the job.I think most,if not all of us did.
I had been in the province less than four hours and was out on the ground for patrol No.1.Personally,it was that fast,I didn't have time to worry about it.
 

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In my case the former at age 20. Novelty had worn off quite a bit by the time I was 30 :-D

On t'other hand, when (aged 20, and having done W Belfast straight from RMAS) I was on my Platoon Commander course, I distinctly recall one young Picadilly Highlander student looking absolutely ashen with dread when he got the news from his Adjutant that he was off to South Armagh after the course :-D

Not quite sure what he was looking for in his short service commission, but I never encountered that kind of reaction ever again.
Mid 1979 I was running a six man training team. a young 'Cockney' arrived to be taken on strength, he was a real 'sarfe Lardon' type. He was, strangely so I thought, in the Royal Irish Hussars. I asked him what he was doing in an Irish Regt, and he replied 'I joined them so I won't have to go to Northern Ireland. It took me about two weeks to get rid of him.
 
Mid 1979 I was running a six man training team. a young 'Cockney' arrived to be taken on strength, he was a real 'sarfe Lardon' type. He was, strangely so I thought, in the Royal Irish Hussars. I asked him what he was doing in an Irish Regt, and he replied 'I joined them so I won't have to go to Northern Ireland. It took me about two weeks to get rid of him.
Pretty sure there was a steady trickle like that into all the Irish cap badges, up to the point where an IG battalion was fingered for Op BANNER (late 1980s?)

Flip side was the steady stream of catholic Oirishmen from the Republic who joined English regiments in the certain knowledge that they'd be 'oppressing' their 'brethren' in the Province (yes, Paddy Dooley, and you Sgt Paddy Lennon R.I.P. I do mean the loikes of youse :-D )
 
Mid 1979 I was running a six man training team. a young 'Cockney' arrived to be taken on strength, he was a real 'sarfe Lardon' type. He was, strangely so I thought, in the Royal Irish Hussars. I asked him what he was doing in an Irish Regt, and he replied 'I joined them so I won't have to go to Northern Ireland. It took me about two weeks to get rid of him.
I met a number of scousers over the years in the Irish Rangers for the same reason. A few in the Irish Guards too.
 
I too saw the same scenes as you as a kid and the prospect of being able to serve in Northern Ireland is what inspired me to join.

Fortunately I spent 6 years of my life based in Northern Ireland in Belfast, Londonderry, Omagh and Enniskillen in both Overt and Covert roles.

I loved it so much. Plenty of excitement and scraps.
Londonderry and Enniskillen were the only two areas I never got to see, got close to Londonderry by visiting Limavady. Kinda glad I didn't got Enniskillen, my mum has loads of family round there and towards the boarder areas.
 
Nope

This:


Doesn't square with this:


Make up your mind, and stop making up 'memories' and 'facts'

Thanks.
Bit harsh on the bloke that i reckon. My recollection through the mid late 70's as I was growing up was the same as his. No one unless directly involved gave a shit, to whit, news reports became so vague & lacking in detail that unless it was a mass cas incident it would be tacked on the end of a bulletin. During my own tours in the mid 80s' i can regularly remember ding dongs & a few short dust ups, albeit with no deaths but gunshot & occasional blast injuries not even being reported in the mainland bulletins.
On the flipside, unless someone you knew was over the water, you'd pass most bulletins by except for those spectaculars that got through. Even then it was at most a shrug of the shoulders, a mumbled poor bastards & back to watching blankety blank or something.
 
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