Op Banner photos - some memories for the old and bold

That's an interesting summary of events. It seems to be missing some bits though.

Like the statements from police, soldiers and residents that there were shots being fired from within the crowds on both sides, the strike marks that were filmed on the outside of the hall the Paras were in, the Catholic resident who was wounded with a weapon type not carried by the Army during the operation (a shotgun), the arrest of another Catholic man with a shotgun who had been seen by soldiers firing into the Protestant side. Etc etc

In fact it seems to be missing just about any of the evidence uncovered so far that might explain why the Paras (and other soldiers) were shooting at people.
I am aware of the 'shotgun' arrest by soldiers of 2 Queens at Springhill. I am also aware of other evidence regarding the strike marks, but I am not at liberty to reveal that and do not in any event possess a copy of the evidence. I would hang fire on judgement though as I am sure the evidence will soon be revealed by the inquest. It's complicated.
 
That's an interesting summary of events. It seems to be missing some bits though.

Like the statements from police, soldiers and residents that there were shots being fired from within the crowds on both sides, the strike marks that were filmed on the outside of the hall the Paras were in, the Catholic resident who was wounded with a weapon type not carried by the Army during the operation (a shotgun), the arrest of another Catholic man with a shotgun who had been seen by soldiers firing into the Protestant side. Etc etc

In fact it seems to be missing just about any of the evidence uncovered so far that might explain why the Paras (and other soldiers) were shooting at people.
They always seem to be able to find witnesses from over 40 years ago and no-one was ever doing anything bad.

What i cant figure out with all this is why don't families of Brits killed by these scum start law action against them i know justice for the 21,Melanie Anan did but surely if all the people from other terrorist acts started to demand justice something would be done?
 
They always seem to be able to find witnesses from over 40 years ago and no-one was ever doing anything bad.

What i cant figure out with all this is why don't families of Brits killed by these scum start law action against them i know justice for the 21,Melanie Anan did but surely if all the people from other terrorist acts started to demand justice something would be done?
It may turn out that the only process open to the families of servicemen killed in the period 70-72 is to sue the PSNI/MOD for failure to properly investigate the killings. The pact made between the GOC and the Chief Constable RUC on splitting responsibility for investigation between the RMP and RUC during these years was subsequently deemed to have been unlawful and investigations meeting the requirements of Article 2 of the ECHR were not conducted.

Ironically, this is the same legislation and argument that underpins claims from families of victims killed by the security forces - though itis generally accepted that about half of these were civilians.
 
That's an interesting summary of events. It seems to be missing some bits though.

Like the statements from police, soldiers and residents that there were shots being fired from within the crowds on both sides, the strike marks that were filmed on the outside of the hall the Paras were in, the Catholic resident who was wounded with a weapon type not carried by the Army during the operation (a shotgun), the arrest of another Catholic man with a shotgun who had been seen by soldiers firing into the Protestant side. Etc etc

In fact it seems to be missing just about any of the evidence uncovered so far that might explain why the Paras (and other soldiers) were shooting at people.
I am sure the posters on this thread will read the book 'The Army of Tribes' There is some intriguing stuff in there, some of it regarding the recent posts.

Edited to add: It was at times difficult to get evidence of people killed or injured, for example during 1972, after shootings some of the RMP statements were taken in doorways or in Vehicles, all while the baying mobs were yards away. There was so much going on.
 
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Surrounding the murder of the Green Finch Margaret Hearst.
I had been on four days leave. When I got back I passed a chap in civies wearing very thick glasses in Bn HQ corridor, I thought he was a civilian CS and took no notice, I saw him twice more, I asked who he was and was told 'He's the new RAPC bloke' I invited him to my office and asked why he was wearing Civ clothes. His reply was that he had permission from the civilian adjutant because he 'lived out.' Living out in Armagh was inviting death, so I got him into uniform and cancelled his living out. He had been living in a caravan in an orchard with Pat Hearst at Tynon just outside Armagh.
Shortly afterwards and early one morning, news came of Pat Hearst's death. The RAPC Bloke came into my office, sobbing and crying, I sat him in a chair thinking it was a family thing. When he controlled himself he kept repeating 'It could have been me' I realized then what it was that upset him. It was the preservation of his own skin. I got him on his feet, and told him that the PIRA were really after him, and if he had not been openly visiting then Pat Hearst would still be alive, It was all his fault. Then he had a complete breakdown which I enjoyed being witness to.
He was out of NI a day following.
I was drinking in 10 UDR bar in Girdwood Park when that news came in.
The tension was incredibly high and I still wonder if the presence of about 10-15 different Reg cap badges in the bar stopped something really bad kicking off.
 
"It has been established that the picture was taken on the Crumlin Road in Belfast in 1972 in an era when soldiers were still able to wear berets as they patrolled the streets of the city. "

A F*cking long "era" if you ask me, we were still wearing berets in W.Belfast in 1982 and again in 1985.
 
An Act of Parliament provided for the raising of the 62nd (Royal American Regiment) Foot on Christmas Day 1755. Due to renumbering of the British Army, the 62nd became altered to the 60th (Royal American Regiment) Foot in 1757. Though its title was changed, first to The Duke of York’s Own Rifle Corps and finally, in 1830, to The King’s Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC), throughout its life the Regiment was known familiarly as the 60th Rifles.
Actually, for a brief period IIRC, it was known as The Duke of Yorks Own Rifle Corps and Light Infantry! This was during the brief period when the 6th and 7th Bn's were LI and not Rifles.

The Experimental Corps of Riflemen was formed in 1800: a circular published at Horse Guards on 17 January 1800 addressed to Officers Commanding; the 2nd Battalion Royals, the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th, 49th, 55th, 69th, 71st, 72nd, 79th, 85th, and 92nd Regiments requested the selection of men suitable for training in the use and tactics of the 'rifle' (the origin of the 'chosen men'). The subsequent detachment numbered 448 officers and men and first assembled on parade at Horsham, Sussex on April 1st that year.
I don't think that's correct Kinch?, I'm sure that the Chosen Man thing was nothing more than a Bn. SOP in the Rifles whereby a senior rifleman was deputed in the absence of an NCO to generally organise the blokes, get the room jobs done and that kind of thing, at a time before there were Lance Corporals on the roll. They used to wear a white band around the arm to distinguish them. All that "Chosen Man" shyte from Sharpe that you constantly hear nowadays I personally find intensely irritating.:mad:
 
By 1983 additional pistol grips and bipods were effectively banned. I carried the IWS one night patrol from Macrory Park and it was frustrating. I pointed out to the brick commander that it was useless as we had streetlighting almost everywhere and after that it was relegated for lurks in the city cemetery and carried over the shoulder if needed. Luckily we never needed it!
By banned I mean Brigade had dictated that we all somehow look alike. This meant additional sling for slinging rifle when using baton gun had to be taped to the rifle. All wore puttees if one person didn't have BCH etc
You sure that came from Brigade? Sounds an awful lot like bog-standard, unremarkable, 1LI bullshit (as in prowler-Sentries in No.2 Dress) to me?;)
 
Actually, for a brief period IIRC, it was known as The Duke of Yorks Own Rifle Corps and Light Infantry! This was during the brief period when the 6th and 7th Bn's were LI and not Rifles.



I don't think that's correct Kinch?, I'm sure that the Chosen Man thing was nothing more than a Bn. SOP in the Rifles whereby a senior rifleman was deputed in the absence of an NCO to generally organise the blokes, get the room jobs done and that kind of thing, at a time before there were Lance Corporals on the roll. They used to wear a white band around the arm to distinguish them. All that "Chosen Man" shyte from Sharpe that you constantly hear nowadays I personally find intensely irritating.:mad:
I actually agree with you re the irritation. I picked it up from the formation instructions issued back in 1800 where COs of other regiment's were asked to 'select' candidates 'suitable for rifle training' (as opposed to musketry). Could have been either - won't argue the point.
As for the chosen man, there were times they could have chosen a lot better :mrgreen:
 

old_fat_and_hairy

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Operation Demetrius. That's what the bugger was called. I didn't know then and hadn't known until just now. I was on that op and it was a stinker. We were summoned back from a long awaited rest period in the charming and picturesque hamlet of Forkhill, with it's welcoming pubs and hospitable people, to parade for breakfast at 2am. 2 bloody am! Who eats breakfast then? Maybe a late supper or snatched snack, but not a full English. We should have been warned, the cooks gave us 3 sausages and bacon.
It was an interesting time, as in the Lobsang meaning of "interesting"
 
Operation Demetrius. That's what the bugger was called. I didn't know then and hadn't known until just now. I was on that op and it was a stinker. We were summoned back from a long awaited rest period in the charming and picturesque hamlet of Forkhill, with it's welcoming pubs and hospitable people, to parade for breakfast at 2am. 2 bloody am! Who eats breakfast then? Maybe a late supper or snatched snack, but not a full English. We should have been warned, the cooks gave us 3 sausages and bacon.
It was an interesting time, as in the Lobsang meaning of "interesting"
Care to share any post-breakfast recollections of the thing? Based on this thread to date I'm forming an impression that it was a right old three handed goatfvck, with both PIRA and Proddie men of violence involved, as well as the British trying to execute a large op with little in the way of prior planning and preparation at ground level.
 
Care to share any post-breakfast recollections of the thing? Based on this thread to date I'm forming an impression that it was a right old three handed goatfvck, with both PIRA and Proddie men of violence involved, as well as the British trying to execute a large op with little in the way of prior planning and preparation at ground level.
Sounds about right...we managed though, 'cause that's what we do :thumleft:
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
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Care to share any post-breakfast recollections of the thing? Based on this thread to date I'm forming an impression that it was a right old three handed goatfvck, with both PIRA and Proddie men of violence involved, as well as the British trying to execute a large op with little in the way of prior planning and preparation at ground level.
We set off at around 0330, knocking gently on doors and awakening young men and their partners with a nice cup of tea and toast. Or, rather we kicked in a great number of doors and dragged various suspected ( and known) miscreants out and into the back of vehicles. These were dropped off at a collection centre , which I seem to think was the police station in Newry. We were met everywhere with a rapturous reception. Much banging of dustbin lids on the pavement and encouraging cheers from the local ladies.
Derrybeg estate, a fragrant and quite upmarket place, showed their support by placing furniture, old cars and burned out buses across the entrances.
The next couple of days passed in something of a blur. We pretty much stayed out on the streets, dozing in doorways and being fed by the C/Sgt from the base.
The highlight was patrolling a street by the river or canal ( one of the two) and getting ambushed. A couple of rifles and a Thompson opened up on us. With hindsight, perhaps a soft skinned 3 ton lorry wasn't the best choice. There were several casualties, including a section cdr with whom I had swapped seats about 2 minutes before. He took a Thompson round in the shoulder. Funnily enough, I've never had a Christmas card from him.

As to the effectiveness of it all, that's above my paygrade but it did seem pointless and overly provocative.
 
We set off at around 0330, knocking gently on doors and awakening young men and their partners with a nice cup of tea and toast. Or, rather we kicked in a great number of doors and dragged various suspected ( and known) miscreants out and into the back of vehicles. These were dropped off at a collection centre , which I seem to think was the police station in Newry. We were met everywhere with a rapturous reception. Much banging of dustbin lids on the pavement and encouraging cheers from the local ladies.
Derrybeg estate, a fragrant and quite upmarket place, showed their support by placing furniture, old cars and burned out buses across the entrances.
The next couple of days passed in something of a blur. We pretty much stayed out on the streets, dozing in doorways and being fed by the C/Sgt from the base.
The highlight was patrolling a street by the river or canal ( one of the two) and getting ambushed. A couple of rifles and a Thompson opened up on us. With hindsight, perhaps a soft skinned 3 ton lorry wasn't the best choice. There were several casualties, including a section cdr with whom I had swapped seats about 2 minutes before. He took a Thompson round in the shoulder. Funnily enough, I've never had a Christmas card from him.

As to the effectiveness of it all, that's above my paygrade but it did seem pointless and overly provocative.
Newry? Now, there's a delightful little town.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

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Newry? Now, there's a delightful little town.
Oh yes. A sleepy little market town set amidst the rolling hills and fields of a most picturesque countryside.
 
It was done to instil a sense of 'situation awareness' as NITAT called it and they used the phrase constantly.
At RIS we used to get loads of requests for so-called 'doshing videos'. These consisted of lots of public order imagery all edited together with a suitably appropriate high-tempo music soundtrack laid over the top.

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Oh yes. A sleepy little market town set amidst the rolling hills and fields of a most picturesque countryside.
Interesting to note that all this happened at a time the Brigade HQ was 19 Brigade (three Brigade hadn't been formed). The Internment list for 19 Bde included Name, Address, Car Registration, Occupation. One of those selected for 'deep interrogation' made a witness statement. First page below (he was picked up in Armagh) - he was eventually found not to be a member of any group and was never convicted of any offence. After about a week at Ballykelly he spent a short time at Long Kesh and was released. It is an interesting take to see the event from the other side of the coin. Edit to add a page from a newspaper dated 10 Aug 71
 

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old_fat_and_hairy

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Interesting to note that all this happened at a time the Brigade HQ was 19 Brigade (three Brigade hadn't been formed). The Internment list for 19 Bde included Name, Address, Car Registration, Occupation. One of those selected for 'deep interrogation' made a witness statement. First page below (he was picked up in Armagh) - he was eventually found not to be a member of any group and was never convicted of any offence. After about a week at Ballykelly he spent a short time at Long Kesh and was released. It is an interesting take to see the event from the other side of the coin.
That was most interesting. I was particularly struck by the name Sean McKenna. A man by that name was shot and killed sometime after that period in Newry, when he and others attempted an armed robbery. I think 3 may have been pacified.
 
That was most interesting. I was particularly struck by the name Sean McKenna. A man by that name was shot and killed sometime after that period in Newry, when he and others attempted an armed robbery. I think 3 may have been pacified.
What I found interesting, years afterwards, is that on the day Op Demetrius was launched - probably before you had crossed the start line at H Hour, full of three breakfast sausages! - our illustrious Prime Minister had taken off on his Yacht. The CGS had also decided to go on leave. In Ardoyne, Malcolm Hatton of the Green Howards took a snipers bullet.
Pm on his Yacht during Op Demetrius.jpg
 
Jumping ahead a bit to 1978, the attached sketch map showing the deployment of the SAS during the Ballysillan Post Office ambush makes for a rare insight into Spec Force Ops during Op Banner: Courtesy of TNA.
SAS Ambush Ballysillan 1978.jpg
 
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