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PIRA attacks in BAOR / BFG

PLC1966A

Crow
When did Live Armed Guarding commence in the UK? I can certainly recall it from 1989.
Was still Pick Axe in late 85 at RAF Hullavington.

And there was no Radios manning the SNCO FMQ Patch guard tent. Every guard change we had to sign for ten pence in an envelope that we would use in the patch Telephone Box to phone the Guard Commander in the event of an incident.
 
Next door to it - roving patrol armed to the teeth with wooden sticks guarding hangars full of high explosive munitions.

Have you ever tried to get into an explosive store house? It takes forever even with the bloody keys.
 
And there was no Radios manning the SNCO FMQ Patch guard tent. Every guard change we had to sign for ten pence in an envelope that we would use in the patch Telephone Box to phone the Guard Commander in the event of an incident.
That is a shocking state of affairs, considering the real time threat presented by PIRA at the time. It could almost be a Dads Army storyline, but given the penny pinching involved, I’m not surprised. Disgraceful and thank God there wasn’t a major incident there.
 
I knew his son at school - the Primary School on Catterick Barracks. We were all pulled in for an assembly when his children were coming back to school after some time off and told that we were pretty much to act like nothing happened.

I remember him putting a happy face on things, then a very short time after that the family went back to the UK.

I'd been up at Musical Gardens earlier the same day as the shooting, at a friend's house.

Yes, not nice times.
Yup my ex girlfriend lived on the patch. Her Dad helped Mrs Coe subsequently before she moved back to the UK. Wasn't Mark Coe a Sapper?
 
Deepcut stopped that one, IIRC.
It took quite a while (7 years at least) and 4 deaths before they decided all these dead bodies were making the place look untidy and changed the policy.
Although technically they were fully trained as soldiers, but not trade trained.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Yup my ex girlfriend lived on the patch. Her Dad helped Mrs Coe subsequently before she moved back to the UK. Wasn't Mark Coe a Sapper?
A quick Google says yes.

I was 10 at the time. I remember my mother having kittens, as I'd been there that day - we actually lived up Am Niederfeld, up the side of Catterick Barracks. It was the only time I'd ever been over to Musical Gardens.

Off the back of this, I've just Googled and found the guy I was visiting that day. Seems a colourful character...
 
Bollocks I believe. It would have been unlikely the Irish would have attacked an American target (not purposely anyway).
Yeah you're right, the Provos would never have done it but the INLA would have been stupid enough to get involved and they were ideological chums of the Red Army. However, even the Wolfie Smiths of the INLA would have realised that offing a senior US official might have been ever so slightly counterproductive.
 
I can only imagine what it was like to be on duty with little more than a lump of wood and knowing that the others have loaded assault rifles and the element of surprise on their side :-/
After the Rheindalen attack, in 22nd Armoured Brigades area of responsibilty live ammo was issued.
We found ourselves not only carrying out our normal guard duties, but also the school. married quarters and BMH Hannover, and I remember asking how any Provo 'soldier' could consider these legitimate targets.
That question was answered when they murdered that poor six month old baby and her RAF father.
 
Yup. Young 18-year-old me in 1985, at Strensall Camp in York, doing prowler with a pick helve.

Around Portakabin accommodation that replaced a block blown up by PIRA in the 1970s. Next to a chainlink perimeter fence that was all of three feet high, and looked like the back garden fences they used to put up in the pads' quarters. With stiles over it. Our RSM was simmering gently over things, particularly trying to deconflict the main camp's Guardroom being "forgetful" enough of the boundary to find themselves patrolling around our female accommodation...

On the bright side, the other prowler (Izzy, eventually made WO2) and I managed to catch the RQMS and one of the Stores Cpls shagging in the empty accommodation. We thought we'd caught a thief, and stood the guard to. I was too young to take advantage of the potential opportunity for a supermarket sprint in the QM's store...


Nah, they're OK if you're careful (some of our... more interesting Jocks... were every bit as worrying; take young Vinnie, who managed stab himself with his own bayonet on the section attack range).

Maybe I'm overconfident - I once ran an entire UOTC through the IBSR (yay for being the token TA infantry Captain), and no-one got hurt! Or had an ND! Granted, there were a couple of meeep <takes deep breath> moments, but the worst thing you can do to inexperienced people with firearms, is to start shouting and making them really nervous...

Morning @Gravelbelly,
Thread drift. My bold. That made Oi larf.
Flashback to God's Acre, Pirbright '78. Scots Guard Rct. @#$&, managed to stab himself in the arrse, left buttock while FIXING bayonets. 2 or 3 stitches IIRC. Limped for a couple of days, got the piss ripped for longer AND no biff-chit.
Cheers for the memory Gravelbelly, that'll keep me chuckling all day.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
After the Rheindalen attack, in 22nd Armoured Brigades area of responsibilty live ammo was issued.
We found ourselves not only carrying out our normal guard duties, but also the school. married quarters and BMH Hannover, and I remember asking how any Provo 'soldier' could consider these legitimate targets.
That question was answered when they murdered that poor six month old baby and her RAF father.
Freedom fighters, remember, freedom fighters.

I spit on them.
 
It might be worth reminding some of the younger members exactly how active the IRA were on mainland UK, during the 1970s... particularly any who might want to rant a bit about Islamic terrorists. Compare now, with back then; 1973/74 saw a terrorist attack per fortnight:

I'm still trying to figure out, from that time, HTF the Irish Government got away with it. In about '73 I was living in Ealing which had a largish Irish community and commuting to Oxford Street. I can remember that if people heard a raised Irish voice on the Underground people would always drop their papers and just stare. The News would always be that the Irish Government will ensure that they give as much assistance to the British in finding the perpetrators :rolleyes:
 
I'm still trying to figure out, from that time, HTF the Irish Government got away with it. In about '73 I was living in Ealing which had a largish Irish community and commuting to Oxford Street. I can remember that if people heard a raised Irish voice on the Underground people would always drop their papers and just stare. The News would always be that the Irish Government will ensure that they give as much assistance to the British in finding the perpetrators :rolleyes:
Just a drift to the IRA attacks on mainland UK.
As a pad brat I remember having to check under dads car when we lived off patch. Many officers/SNCOs who were on postings to TA units or remote areas lived in the local communities or in remote areas. I vividly remember the assassination of Lieutenant Colonel John Stevenson, 53, who was serving as a Commanding Officer of the All Arms Training Area in Otterburn, Northumberland, when he was killed on April 8, 1974. We had been based in the North from 70 -72 when dad was CO of 72 Engr Reg on the Tyne.
As well as being at Latimer where dad was a DS on the NDC staff course in 1974. The year the IRA blew up the lecture theatre with a number of officers in it, that was before the advent of barbed wire fences and prowler sentries with pick helves!
 
I remember the mortar attack at Osnabruck in 96, was on a happy hour in SQN bar, as news filtered through everyone was on doubles and treble drinks. This was shortly followed by the guard commander trawling the bars for extra bods as the alert state went up. Pretty sure it was the same scene in all the bars, I think they actually got the extra bods from the pads, which was in essence a rarity.

Not in my part of BAOR, I spent weeks on end in sleeping various community centres, Kindergardens or random cellars all converted into make shift guardrooms.

Every single patch and NAAFI had an armed guard when we where on BIKINI RED, the singlies certainly didn’t provide the guards for the lot ^~
 
Not in my part of BAOR, I spent weeks on end in sleeping various community centres, Kindergardens or random cellars all converted into make shift guardrooms.

Wife kicked you out again?
 
Dear all,
not sure this is the right place to post or even I'm allowed but though it might be of interest to a few who served either in Germany in the 70s / 80s / 90s or on Op.Banner: my book on the PIRA campaign against BAOR / BFG "The Overseas Department" is out in January if anyone fancies taking a look. It covers pretty much everything that happened from 73 to 96, including the JHQ, Glamorgan Bks, Langenhagen, Quebec Bks and other bomb attacks, as well as the shootings / car bombs in Wildenrath, Roermond, Hannover, Nieuw Bergen, Unna, as well as other incidents in Hemer, Mülheim-an-der-Ruhr, Napier Bks and many more. Have tried to tell the full story of who was involved and how everything linked together. It's not gonna bring anyone back sadly taken away from us by the Provos or win any awards, but those who were there at the time might be interested in having a read when it comes out. And probably correcting loads of stuff :)

You can find "The Overseas Department" on Amazon and Apple Books (System won't allow me to post links...), out 22.01.21.

Cheers SJF
I believe it was called 'The English Department', part of GHQ Dublin and 'Southern Command'. But it was also responsible for operations outside the UK. It was, I believe, the only ASU specifically ordered to abandon its weapons after the comp,etion of an operation. Very much looking forward to your book on this much neglected aspect of the Troubles.
 
When did Live Armed Guarding commence in the UK? I can certainly recall it from 1989.
Technically it began as early as '72 in some respects. Frank Kitson was given his own PPW and a police armed guard for a short time on his return from NI. Also armed soldiers were also deployed at a UK civil hospital to guard the survivor of the 'honeytrap' shooting of four off duty sergeants in 1973 - three died.
 
I believe it was called 'The English Department', part of GHQ Dublin and 'Southern Command'. But it was also responsible for operations outside the UK. It was, I believe, the only ASU specifically ordered to abandon its weapons after the comp,etion of an operation. Very much looking forward to your book on this much neglected aspect of the Troubles.
Wasn't South Armagh involved latterly in the mainland ops? They being the only part of the Provos who had not been compromised by British intelligence at that stage. The big bombs in London in the 90s were manufactured there if I am not mistaken.
 
Not in my part of BAOR, I spent weeks on end in sleeping various community centres, Kindergardens or random cellars all converted into make shift guardrooms.

Every single patch and NAAFI had an armed guard when we where on BIKINI RED, the singlies certainly didn’t provide the guards for the lot ^~
Was nearly always the singlies got spammed in my experiences both home and abroad, maybe apart from exercises or operations. The pads were happy walking around with an important clipboard, stealing a few beans here and there on camp.
 

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